Feeling dizzy during your pregnancy? The good news is that dizziness during pregnancy is common. And you’ll find that dizziness seems to be more common during the first trimester in pregnancy than in the later trimesters. With that said, women can feel dizzy at any time during their pregnancy.
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What Is the Cause of Dizziness During Pregnancy?
When you’re pregnant, the main causes for virtually all of the odd pains, aches and medical concerns a woman feels will be related to hormones. The hormones that a woman’s body will produce for the preparation of the baby and the baby’s development are the cause for your dizziness.
But, what is actually occurring internally?
Understanding your dizziness is rather simple in this case. The hormones are causing your blood vessels to relax and widen at the same time. These hormones relax the body so that the woman’s uterus can expand, and organs can be moved to accommodate the baby and to prepare the body for the birthing process.
As a result of all of this relaxation, your blood vessels relax.
The relaxing of the blood vessels, specifically, occurs to increase the blood flow to your baby. This blood flow is vital to your baby’s development, but you’ll also find that you’re now having dizzy spells as a result. The dizziness you’re experiencing is a direct result of the veins widening and relaxing.
Blood will need to flow to the baby, meaning that the blood return in your veins is slowed.
And while the slowing of the blood return typically isn’t harmful to you, it can be if you have normally low blood pressure. Slow return of blood will slow a woman’s blood pressure, which can also lead to a lack of blood to the brain.
What happens when not enough blood flows into the brain?
This is the main reason and circumstance related to dizziness during pregnancy. And while this is the most common reason for being dizzy, there are other reasons you may be feeling a bit woozy.
4 Reasons for Dizzy Spells During Pregnancy
Blood return is slow during the first trimester, and this is when most women will complain of being dizzy. But there are other reasons you may also feel dizzy at this time:
- Pressure from the Uterus: It’s no secret that the uterus is growing rapidly. You look in the mirror, and you’ll notice that your stomach is growing, and internally, so is your uterus. The problem is that your body needs to accommodate for uterine growth, which is difficult. So when you lay on your back, the uterus may be putting excess pressure on your blood vessels, causing blood flow restriction. This is a common cause for dizziness during the second trimester.
- Blood Sugar Drops: Many women will find that their blood sugar levels have dropped, causing them to feel lightheaded and dizzy. This drop in blood sugar is often caused by not eating enough during pregnancy. Food aversions can also be a cause. You may feel sick to your stomach and not eat enough to keep your blood sugar levels under control.
- Dehydration: Are you drinking enough water? Your body is working overtime to ensure that your baby continues to grow in a healthy manner. And as a result, you’ll need to boost your intake of water during your pregnancy. An additional two glasses of water will help you stay hydrated during your pregnancy. Of course, your water intake needs may vary, so consult with your doctor on the matter.
- Increased Body Heat: Woman don’t often realize it, but your baby makes a lot of heat in the womb. This heat can make you feel lightheaded all on its own. But when women overexert themselves or lay out in the sun to tan while pregnant, they’ll contribute to this increase in heat and make matters worse. Even spending too much time in an overly hot room can cause you to get dizzy rather quickly.
As you can see, there are numerous reasons why dizziness occurs during pregnancy. The good news is that these scenarios don’t require medical attention in most cases and are only temporary.
When to Call the Doctor
While in most cases calling a doctor is unwarranted, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t call the doctor in some cases. If you find that the dizziness does not subside, you may want to call your doctor rather than wait it out to see if the condition gets better over time.
If you happen to faint, you’ll want to contact your doctor immediately.
Fainting is a serious issue. Dizziness can occur at any time, and if you have been evaluated and your fainting is nothing to be concerned about medically, this doesn’t mean you should ignore this symptom.
Fainting can be a major issue if:
- You’re driving an automobile
- You fall and hurt the baby
- You’re going up and down stairs
- You’re working out
If you feel an immense bout of dizziness, it’s better to take time to relax and keep yourself and your baby safe at the same time.
7 Things You Can Do to Stop Dizziness During Pregnancy
You know when to call the doctor and the reasons for your dizziness, but what can you actually do to prevent yourself from getting dizzy?
There are numerous things you can do to combat dizziness, including:
- Stand Up and Lay Down Slowly: When a person stands up or lays down too quickly, this can cause their blood pressure to drop naturally. Even people that aren’t pregnant can feel dizzy from standing or laying down too quickly. Instead, take it slow.
- Eat the Right Foods: The diet you maintain is important for not only the health of your baby, but also your blood sugar levels. If you eat the right foods, you can maintain your blood sugar levels, which is ideal. A mix of protein and complex carbs is the right choice. Meats, potatoes, whole grain bread and even pastas should be added to every meal to keep blood sugar levels under control.
- Eat Often: Forget about the “three square meals a day” rule. You’re pregnant, you have weird cravings, and you’re hungry. Eating small meals throughout the day, and many of them (6- 8 in some cases), will keep you satiated while also allowing you to maintain blood sugar levels.
- Wear Clothes with a Purpose: The temperature may hit 80 degrees today, but this morning it’s only 40 degrees, so you put on a turtleneck sweater. What were you thinking? Overheating is a part of pregnancy, and being too hot will make you dizzy. Wear layers of clothing that can easily be taken off so that you can control how hot or cool you are.
- Drink Often: Aim to drink the standard eight cups of water per day as recommended by doctors. Drinking too little can lead to dehydration and feeling dizzy. If it’s particularly hot outside or you’re incorporating pregnancy exercise or fitness routines, make sure you exceed the eight cups of water recommendation.
- Sleep on Your Side: If your dizziness during pregnancy first came about in the second or third trimester, it’s likely the uterus is pushing on the veins and causing constricted blood flow. Sleeping on your side will help alleviate the pressure on the veins, boosts blood flow efficiency and will often lead to an end of the dizziness.
- Go Outside: Wasting away in your house isn’t good for you. And staying inside can lead to a feeling of being crammed in the house, overheated and being stuffy. Even a 5-minute walk has proven to be very effective at helping women get rid of the dizziness.
If you have a fear of being dizzy or find yourself getting anxious when you’re dizzy, remember to take deep breaths and remain calm. The anxiety can be the reason for your dizziness getting worse.