Weakness, nausea, and dizziness are the sensations one usually experiences before a faint. The reduced blood supply resulting in a sudden lack of oxygen and nutrients the human brain should be receiving is only one of the reasons for dizziness and fainting. In order to prevent dizziness during pregnancy in the future, it’s necessary to learn more about its causes and ways to cope with it.
The main causes of dizziness while pregnant
Every soon-to-be mom should know that fits of dizziness before pregnancy usually mean things will become even worse during the childbearing process. Now the female body is going through a lot of additional stress and hormonal changes.
If you don’t know what triggered the dizziness before pregnancy, it’s time to find it out.
Here are the possible causes of dizziness in women:
- Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine;
- Brain tumors;
- Diseases of the vestibular system;
- Internal bleedings;
- The initial stage of multiple sclerosis;
- Intracranial pressure;
- Otitis and inner ear diseases.
If the woman doesn’t suffer from the listed health conditions, her dizziness is directly related to her pregnancy.
Dizziness during pregnancy has its own causes in every trimester. It can appear for the first time immediately after the conception and then arise from time to time during the full course of pregnancy.
Dizziness during pregnancy in the 1st trimester
In the first months of pregnancy, the causes of dizziness can be natural. For example, a pregnant woman can’t breathe in enough fresh air in a cramped room or in public transport. Such conditions don’t allow her body to receive the necessary amount of oxygen.
The same goes for high air temperature. Overheating negatively affects our health. The blood vessels in the body dilate, lowering blood pressure, which leads to the lack of oxygen to the brain.
Besides, since the beginning of the pregnancy, the hormones reducing blood pressure have been produced. They may cause fits of dizziness during pregnancy too.
But the main reason for dizziness during pregnancy in the 1st trimester is the failure of the female body to adjust. The organism of every woman reacts to the hormonal changes individually – sometimes, in the form of so-called toxicosis. Its most well-known signs are weakness, dizziness, nausea and/or vomiting.
As a rule, dizziness during pregnancy in the 1st trimester doesn’t require any treatment or medical interference. However, the obstetrician-gynecologist monitoring your pregnancy should be informed about this kind of distress.
Pay attention to the fact that weakness, vaginal bleeding, and dizziness during pregnancy are the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage. Call an ambulance and explain everything to an operator! In this case, the pregnant woman needs hospitalization. Timely medical intervention might be able to save your baby!
The causes of dizziness in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy
If there are no health problems, dizziness during pregnancy can arise due to the sedentary lifestyle. It is leading to poor blood circulation, and sudden movements cause dizziness and blackouts. But dizziness in the 2nd trimester can come from a far less pleasant underlying condition.
As the fetus continues developing, the uterus increases. It requires additional blood flow. Before the conception the blood flow to the uterus has been modest – only 2% of the whole supply. But the growing fetus causes this figure to change, and by the end of the second trimester of pregnancy, the blood flow to the uterus will have become almost 1/3 of the whole supply. That’s why the brain and other internal organs receive less oxygen, and, as a consequence, a future mother suffers from dizziness during pregnancy.
Anemia during pregnancy
As the blood supply in the female body increases, there should become more red blood cells as well. However, sometimes the normal functioning of the digestive tract is violated. As a result, the body lacks iron, and blood formation is disrupted. Against this background, anemia develops: there is a possibility of hypoxia, and the future mother feels dizziness during pregnancy.
This kind of diabetes occurs only during pregnancy. After the baby is born, the disease passes. Gestational diabetes is a reaction of the pancreatic gland to the strain of increased secretion of insulin.
Why does it happen? The pregnancy hormones raise the blood sugar level. The pancreas has to produce the amount of insulin enough to normalize the blood sugar. But sometimes it falters, and the pregnant woman has to deal with gestational diabetes which is also able to lead to dizziness during pregnancy. To detect this disease in time, every future mother should provide the blood and urine samples every time she visits a gynecologist.
Dizziness during pregnancy: the 3rd trimester
At this pregnancy stage, the dizziness can occur because of lying on your back for a long period of time. The increased uterus cuts off the blood flow in the large vessels, such as inferior vena cava, disrupting the overall blood circulation. It’s recommended to lie on your side during sleep in the third trimester. A correctly chosen pregnancy pillow will help to maintain a comfortable position.
Dizziness during pregnancy in later stages also occurs due to being in an upright position for long, for example, after a long walk or standing in a queue. The blood flow to the lower limbs prevents the brain from getting necessary substances.
Another kind of dizziness during pregnancy is caused by a sudden decrease in blood glucose. Such a thing can happen due to the 3 main reasons: sparse meals, too many carbohydrates (cakes, pastry, and other candy), and violent morning sickness. An expectant mom can experience such problems during the whole pregnancy term.
By the end of the 3rd trimester (approximately week 38) women complain about dizziness. The explanation is simple: the female body begins to prepare for childbirth. The blood rushes to the organs that need it the most, and the brain lacks oxygen. If the blood pressure is normal and the woman doesn’t faint, dizziness during pregnancy shouldn’t worry her.
Dizziness as a pregnancy symptom
Sleepiness, fatigability, and fits of dizziness can be the early pregnancy symptoms. Such manifestations are most common in women who regularly experience a lot of emotional stress, physical overload, anemia or various vascular diseases.
Moreover, since the first days of pregnancy new blood vessels have begun to form in the pelvic region, so that the additional blood supply increases the blood circulation in the uterus.
But sometimes the female organism doesn’t manage to adjust to the changes in time. The blood flow regulation falters, channeling too much blood to the pelvis, cutting off the blood flow to the brain.
After a small period of time, when the bloodstream finally adjusts, the dizziness during pregnancy will subside.
The treatment of dizziness in pregnant women
During the normal course of pregnancy, the dizziness doesn’t represent any risks and requires no treatment. Doctors recommend taking measures against it only in three particular cases: anemia, low blood pressure, and gestational diabetes.
Low blood pressure is cured with the help of black tea or coffee in moderate amounts.
Dizziness during pregnancy induced by dystonia requires sedatives (only the ones allowed for pregnant women, of course).
In order to bring the blood glucose level back to normal, you should eat according to the schedule. The portions should be small but nourishing. This will help to stabilize blood sugar. Fasting is strictly forbidden!
Don’t eat too much candy (or completely abstain from sugar till the end of the pregnancy).
All the other kinds of dizziness during pregnancy don’t need to be treated. However, if you feel dizzy while pregnant you need to be especially careful and take precautions.
The preventive measures against the dizziness during pregnancy
If you follow a few certain rules you’ll be able to reduce the frequency and severity of dizziness:
- Avoid stuffy rooms, don’t use public transport at a rush hour;
- Get more fresh air: ventilate your room, take walks in the park, do respiratory gymnastics;
- Be active: do exercises for pregnant women;
- Change positions while resting, don’t lie on your back in the 3rd trimester;
- Don’t take your showers too hot;
- Every morning eat some dried fruit before getting up;
- Follow an eating schedule, limit the consumption of sugar, add more fruit and iron-containing products (beef, buckwheat, apples) to your diet.
If you suddenly feel dizzy, you’d better sit or lie down – otherwise, you can faint. A wet handkerchief on your forehead can help.
When dizziness during pregnancy is caused by low blood pressure it’s good to drink a cup of strong tea with sugar.
You need to follow all the doctor’s recommendations and endure every test and examination in order to detect any risk in time. That’s how you keep yourself and your unborn baby safe.