Posted by MRK on 17th April 2013

Reasons For Fainting During Pregnancy: How To Prevent It?

Fainting is one of the commonest symptoms seen during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy. Although not a life-threatening condition, it can disrupt the daily activities of the pregnant woman, and can be embarrassing too in a public place!

  • Standing for long periods of time causes blood to get pooled to your feet and can make you feel woozy.
  • Sudden change in position, especially getting up, can cause a sharp dip in your blood pressure giving rise to dizziness.
  • Low blood sugar levels. Not eating enough, or at regular intervals can make you hypoglycemic and bring on a dizzy spell.
  • Reduced daily consumption of water.
  • Low blood iron levels. Iron is necessary to make the blood pigment hemoglobin in your body, which is responsible for distributing oxygen to all your cells. Deficient iron means deficient hemoglobin and deficient oxygen, and this can result in frequent episodes of giddiness.
  • Lying on your back for a long time, especially after the 4th month of pregnancy can cause dizziness because, in this position, the growing fetus exerts pressure on the major blood vessels.

Is Fainting Normal During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is a time of massive adjustments in the body of the expecting woman. One of the major changes is that your heart pumps more blood than before and the volume of circulating blood goes up by almost 50%. This is because now, blood needs to be actively distributed for the needs of the growing fetus.

Hormonal changes, too, make their impression on the blood vessels, which carry and transport blood to various organs in the body. During pregnancy, the blood vessels get dilated, and this can result in a slight incompetence in distributing blood all over the body.

In most cases, the heart is able to compensate for this change by increasing the force of pumping of blood.

But sometimes, it falls short, resulting in a temporary shortage of blood to the brain which brings on giddiness and fainting.

Dizziness is a perfectly normal symptom experienced during pregnancy. Fainting or complete loss of consciousness is also commonly seen, but, if the episodes are very frequent, it is better to consult your doctor for a full check-up and to remedy the cause immediately.

How To Prevent Fainting When Pregnant?

  • Eat small meals at frequent intervals. This prevents your blood sugar from falling below permissible levels, and also prevents your body from being overloaded by large meals. Remember, large meals too can bring about fainting. Large meals trigger the vagus nerve in your body, which is responsible for bringing down your blood pressure.
  • Drink at least 10 glasses of water in a day. Dehydration can lower the blood pressure in your body and trigger a dizzy episode.
  • Check your blood for anemia. A low hemoglobin count means less oxygen distribution in your body. Ensure that you are having a diet rich in iron and vitamins. Eat more of dates, green leafy vegetables, eggs and liver, to name a few foods.
  • Avoid sudden changes in position, especially standing from sitting or lying down position. Make slow, deliberate movements, even if it means devoting a few more seconds to something as minor as getting up from a chair. This allows your body to adjust to the change in position and directs the blood accordingly.
  • Lie on your left side instead of your back. This prevents your main vein, the Inferior Vena Cava from getting unduly compressed and prevents dizziness.

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