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Dizziness and fainting during pregnancy – Part 2

In the previous post (Dizziness and fainting during pregnancy – Part 1), we talked about some of the changes in the body related to the heart and blood pressure that happen during pregnancy, and the impact of these changes, related to the feeling of being dizzy or faint. We will write more about this topic in this post:

Not sufficient intake of food and drink:

When the food intake is not sufficient enough then the woman might end up having hypoglycemia, which is a condition of low sugar level in the blood stream. This leads to a feeling of being lightheaded or dizzy. In pregnancy, this is much easier to happen as food intake is an essential factor to sustain both mother and baby’s nutritional needs and to provide energy. Have small but frequent meals to avoid low blood sugar in the day. Have healthy snacks to fill your hunger. Keep a pack ready always with you. Same is the case with sufficient fluid intake. Insufficient fluids leads to dehydration. Hence keep yourself hydrated well by consuming atleast 8-10 glasses of water on a daily basis. It would be more if you are feeling very hot or exercising.

Anemia:

Being anemic means having lower number of red blood cells in the blood which are required for oxygen carriage to the brain and other vital organs of the body. This insufficient oxygen supply can make a pregnant woman feel dizzy or faint. Deficiency of iron is the primary reason of anemia. Hence, having an iron filled diet is essential. Have a supplement of prenatal iron vitamins particularly in the 2nd/3rd trimesters of pregnancy. Extra iron supplements may also be prescribed depending on the condition.

Feeling overheated:

Taking a hot shower or being in a hot room can open up the blood vessels by dilating thereby decreasing the BP. This makes you feel let out and dizzy. Avoid hot places and crowded areas in such a case. Also do not overdress yourself in layers. Wear light and comfortable clothing. Have a warm shower and maintain the bathroom cooler.

Hyperventilation:

Too much of exercise and anxiety leads to feel of faint and this is due to hyperventilation. Exercise aids in blood circulation but then over exercising can make you tired and fatigued leading you to feel dizzy. Manage stress by other means like meditation. Relax in front of greenery or other similar natural factors, and watch soothing or humorous movies to beat stress instead. But if you feel dizzy then lie down to left side to calm yourself.

When should the doctor be consulted?

Any situation or condition where the dizziness or lightheadedness is persistent and does not disappear easily is a cause of concern and best is to consult a doctor in such a case.

Some conditions that are not of much concern and go away after delivery are:
• Feeling lightheaded a bit
• Feeling dizzy due to heat or hunger
• Feeling a faint due to sudden or quick getting up from chair/bed

Conditions of concern are:
• Persistent lightheadedness
• Frequent bouts of dizziness
• Severe headaches
• Blurred vision
• Impaired speech
• Palpitations
• Numbness
• Tingling
• Chest pain
• Shortness of breath
• Bleeding
Above symptoms are serious and needs immediate check up with doctor as they can cause a risk to baby and mother equally. Other than this, abdominal pain along with lightheadedness, faint or dizziness can be due to a condition called ectopic pregnancy. This condition needs immediate consultation of physician for further advice.

Treatment of Dizziness:

• Rest as much as possible
• Undertake normal activities after curbing of the symptoms completely.
• Release your leg; stretch it by dangling left and right, prior to getting up.
• Get up very slowly with a support to avoid falling.
• It is best to avoid long standing hours.
• Wearing compression stockings aids in blood circulation.
• Eat small frequent meals instead of large meals.
• Carry a healthy snack to munch on in case of hunger.
• Avoid too hot water baths. Take a warm water bath and relax.
• Avoid lying flat on the back. Lie on the left side to avoid pressurizing inferior vena cava.
• Have iron rich foods in your diet.
• Take prenatal supplements as advised.
• On feeling dizzy, place your head in between the knees by sitting down until the condition subsides down.
• Breathe deeply and get some fresh air.
• Wear light
• Do not drink or eat when dizzy.

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