When you’re pregnant, there’s a lot of potentially nasty side effects that you can experience. However, some tend to be less talked about than others such as dizziness.
Dizziness is a common, yet understandably scary problem many pregnant women experience. So, why does it occur and what can you do to ease dizziness during pregnancy? Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know about the causes and potential solutions you can try out.
Why Does Dizziness Occur In Pregnancy?
As worrying as it can be, dizziness in pregnancy is common, especially during the first trimester. Like many pregnancy symptoms, it’s largely caused due to fluctuating hormone levels.
As the hormone levels increase, they cause the blood vessels to widen and relax, increasing blood flow to your baby. However, the blood being returned to you is slowed down, causing the blood pressure to drop. This leads to the feeling of temporary dizziness.
However, it could also be caused by low blood sugar. As your body tries to adapt to the metabolic changes, it can cause temporary dizziness. If you have varicose veins or you’re anemic, you’ll likely be more prone to dizziness during pregnancy.
Finally, if the dizziness occurs during the second trimester, it’s likely to be caused by the pressure placed onto the blood vessels by the uterus.
Is It Preventable?
There are ways to reduce the risk of suffering with dizziness during your pregnancy. Firstly, making sure you don’t stand up too quickly is a surprisingly effective prevention method. When you sit down, or lie down, the blood starts to pool in the feet as well as the lower legs. When you stand up quickly, the blood can’t return to the heart quickly enough, causing a sudden dizzy feeling. So, always try and get up slowly, giving the blood time to head back to the heart.
Eating regularly will also help, especially if you’re prone to low blood sugar. It will help to ensure that your blood sugar levels don’t drop too low, combating this common cause of dizziness during pregnancy.
Once you are mid-way through the second trimester, you’ll want to avoid lying on your back. This is because the weight of baby can press onto the vena cava, which is basically the vein responsible for carrying blood up to the heart from the legs.
How To Treat Dizziness In Pregnancy
If you do start to feel dizzy during pregnancy, there’s a few things you can do to ease the feeling.
Start by sitting down until it passes. You may find it even more beneficial to lie down, though some women find if they close their eyes, the dizziness can lead to nausea. So, keep your eyes open, breathe slowly and you should find it passes quickly. Sitting or lying down is important as many pregnant women actually faint when they start to feel dizzy. So, making sure you’re in a safe position just in case is crucial for you and baby.
If the dizziness is caused by low blood sugar, you’ll need to eat or drink something to ease it. Ideally, you’ll want to opt for a high-carb or a high-sugar snack as this will help to boost your blood sugar levels quickly.
If you can’t sit or lie down, make sure there’s something you can hold onto. It could be a table or a chair for example. Just having something to hold onto will help you to keep your balance and reduce the likelihood you’ll fall over.
When To Call A Doctor
While dizziness is common in pregnancy, there are times when you should contact your doctor. These include:
- If the dizziness is followed by vaginal bleeding
- If you feel pain in your abdomen
- If the dizziness is frequent and it causes blurred vision
- If you actually pass out
Obviously, if you have any concerns over the dizziness, you should contact your doctor regardless of any additional symptoms you may be having. They are there to reassure you and check everything is as it should be. However, if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it could be an indicator that you’re suffering from a condition such as anemia, or of an ectopic pregnancy.
The doctor will usually monitor your blood pressure and keep an eye on the dizziness to see whether it’s getting worse or better. So, always mention it when you go to your regular appointments.
Overall, dizziness during pregnancy is common and it’s usually nothing serious. However, like anything, it’s important to be sure. If you’re worried or if you can’t find anything which relieves the dizziness, always contact your doctor.
Did you experience dizziness during your pregnancy? Share your experience and how you dealt with it in the comments below.
This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always consult with a doctor or licensed medical professional before making any medical decisions.