Mother and Baby

Is dizziness a symptom of pregnancy?

dizziness in pregnancy

A common pregnany symptom you may experience, both in your early stages as well as during your pregnancy, is a bit of dizziness and the feeling of being 'light-headed'. Spells of dizziness can be telling you that you're dehydrated, anemic, as well as being associated with vertigo and other problems.

Why am I feeling dizzy?

When pregnant women feel dizzy, it's all down to the hormonal and other changes to your body. As well as a hormone increase, your blood volume is said to increase by 30 to 50 per cent.

The hormone progesterone can cause your blood pressure to drop, your blood vessels will be more relaxed, resulting in your blood flow to slow down. This can leave your brain short of oxygen, causing you to feel faint. 

If you get morning sickness, this could also trigger the feeling of dizziness. The dizziness may be particularly bad if you have severe pregnancy sickness, known as hyperemesis gravidarum

Standing up too quickly, lying down for too long or if you haven't eaten for a while, can also cause you to feel light-headed as your blood may not have enough time to reach your brain. This is referred to as postural hypotension.

Lying on your back can result in dizziness, and can be dangerous for your baby. 

Doctors advise that from week 16 of your pregnancy, you should lie on your left side instead of your back as the weight of your growing bump could compress the vena cava, a major blood vessel. 

Hot baths can also make you feel faint so try and have your baths a bit cooler or have a cold flannel just in case you start to feel a bit faint. 

What can I do to treat dizziness?

The best thing to do when you feel dizzy or light-headed is to sit or lie down for five minutes. Have a breather.

Once you feel like you can stand up, have some water or a light snack.

One of the causes of feeling dizzy could be that your sugar levels are low, so eating a piece of fruit is a good way to get some sugar into your system. 

How do I prevent dizziness in pregnancy?

You should try to avoid standing up for a long time, so take breaks and move around when you can. 

When you're pregnant, you shouldn't be rushing around too much, so make sure whenever you get up to do something you take your time to do so.

Moving slowly after you've been sat down for a while is recommended.

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While training as a journalist at the University of Gloucestershire for 3 years, she was nominated for the Best Feature Category at the Midlands Student’s Media Awards this year, and Head of News and Social Media for the university’s radio station, Tone Radio. Ellie has been published by the likes of Heatworld, Heart, Gloucestershire Live, and ITV West Country. 

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