How to get Pregnant » Fainting During Pregnancy

Fainting During Pregnancy

How to Get Pregnant

Fainting or syncope is a sudden, usually temporary, loss of consciousness generally caused by insufficient oxygen in the brain either through cerebral hypoxia or through hypotension, but possibly for other reasons. Typical symptoms progress through dizziness, clamminess of the skin, a dimming of vision or greyout, possibly tinnitus, complete loss of vision, weakness of limbs to physical collapse. These symptoms falling short of complete collapse, or a fall down, may be referred to as a syncoptic episode.

Fainting has numerous causes. Decreased blood flow to the brain can occur because the heart fails to pump the blood. Or it may be that the blood vessels don't have enough tone to maintain blood pressure to deliver the blood to the brain. Or maybe there is not enough blood or fluid within the blood vessels; or a combination of reasons one, two, or three above.

But, can fainting happen in pregnancy? And if it can, what are the possible causes?

Causes of fainting during pregnancy

Fainting during pregnancy can be due to a multitude of reasons. Many women feel dizzy or lightheaded when pregnant because of rapidly rising levels of blood pumping through your body. During pregnancy our bodies undergo many remarkable changes. Women's hearts are capable of pumping more than double the normal capacity of blood throughout the body. The circulatory system also expands to accommodate your growing uterus and baby.

During pregnancy women's blood pressure typically rises and falls. During mid pregnancy the blood pressure may drop significantly, only to rise to its normal level by about the time of delivery. All of these changes can contribute to dizziness or lightheadedness, which can lead to fainting.

If you often experience lightheadedness and fainting, here are some things which you have to remember.

Once you experience dizziness, you should lie down and rest until you are feeling better. If you tend to feel dizzy at night you may find you feel better simply by laying on your left side. This will help maximize the amount of blood flowing through your heart and the rest of your body.

You should avoid rising or moving too quickly. If you get up too fast the blood in your body will pool in your feet and legs. This can help contribute to dizziness or faintness. Be sure to avoid leaping out of your chair (this may be quite easy during your last trimester).

When getting out of bed, do it slowly. Many women feel dizzy or faint first thing in the morning when rising out of bed. Again your best bet here is to take things slowly.

You should get plenty to eat and drink. Sometimes dizziness or faintness simply results from not eating enough. You want to make sure you are adequately hydrated throughout the day and eat enough food to keep your blood sugar levels stable. The best way to do this is by eating several smaller meals per day. This will keep a stable supply of energy flowing through your body during the course of your day.

You should avoid overly hot environments. Many women feel faint or dizzy simply from being overheated. If this is the case step into a cool room. You may find a cool shower helps during warm and humid summer months.

Some women feel faint or dizzy because they are anemic. Your doctor can test to find out if you have an iron deficiency that is contributing to dizziness, fatigue or faintness. If you are anemic you will likely have to take an additional iron supplement throughout your pregnancy.

Remember that periodic dizziness or faintness during pregnancy is quite normal. If you experience persistent symptoms however or sudden symptoms accompanied by a severe headache, vision disturbances or numbness and tingling, be sure to contact your health care provider immediately to rule out other more serious medical problems.