Dizziness is a common symptom of pregnancy, and will generally occur off and on throughout your first trimester. Dizziness is mainly attributed to the increase in your body’s hormones, which cause blood vessels to relax and widen for the sake of increasing blood flow to your growing baby. As a result, your blood pressure is lower than usual and blood flow to your brain is reduced — both of which are factors that will cause you to experience frequent feelings of dizziness.
While dizziness normally wans after the first trimester of pregnancy, you may go on to experience dizziness in your second trimester as a result of your growing uterus placing excess pressure on your blood vessels. In your third trimester, you may experience dizziness when you lie on your back, since your baby’s weight will place excess pressure on your vena cava, which is the large vein that carries blood from your lower body back to your heart.
Preventing dizziness during pregnancy
While you may not be able to fully prevent yourself from experiencing dizziness during pregnancy, there are steps you can take to reduce dizziness, such as:
- Getting up slowly after you have been lying or sitting down.
- Avoiding standing for long periods at a time, and if you do stand, shuffle in place or make sure your feet are constantly moving to help increase blood flow and circulation.
- Avoiding bathing and showering in excessively hot temperatures.
- Wearing loose, comfortable clothing to promote healthy blood flow and circulation, since tight clothing can often be restrictive.
- Eating meals regularly throughout the day. Skipping meals or waiting too long to eat can result in dizziness.
- Avoiding lying on your back when you get to the middle of your second trimester.
Reducing feelings of faintness
If you experience extreme dizziness to the point you feel as if you’re going to faint, follow these tips immediately to reduce feelings of faintness:
- Take deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling through your nose.
- Remove or loosen any tight, restrictive clothing.
- Sit or lie down, and lower your head.
- Eat foods that are rich in iron, such as beans, lentils, and dark, leafy greens.
- Open windows or go outdoors for fresh, circulating air.
If you experience dizziness along with pain in your abdomen or vaginal bleeding, contact your OB-GYN immediately, as these symptoms could be signs of a low-lying placenta, ectopic pregnancy, or placental abruption. If dizziness is accompanied by headaches, heart palpitations, or blurred vision, you may be experiencing anemia and should seek treatment immediately.
CarePoint Health is dedicated to providing you with the individual care and attention you need so you can relax and focus on what is most important — the birth of your new baby. Contact us today to learn more about our obstetrics and maternity services.
Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.