Fainting during pregnancy is definitely something no pregnant woman wants to experience. Unfortunately, it can happen. A woman may faint while she is expecting a baby for a variety of reasons, some which may be known about, others which may come about suddenly and unexpectedly.
To faint is scary, whether you are pregnant or not. For a woman carrying a baby in her belly, fainting could potentially be dangerous. If you faint and then fall, you could not only injure yourself, but your unborn baby, as well. No pregnant woman wants to be rushed to the hospital because she fainted and fell.
It is very important to be aware that pregnancy changes our body. Growing a baby is an amazing thing, but changes do occur, some of which can put a mom to be at more risk of experiencing a fainting spell. Knowing what can cause you to faint can better prepare you if you begin to feel lightheaded. Taking certain precautions or knowing about your medical issues can also help you steer clear of fainting. Read on to discover reasons why a woman might faint during pregnancy.
13 The Hormones Have Their Say
Everyone knows that your hormones are going crazy during pregnancy. These changes in your hormone levels can make a mom to be feel so dizzy that she may end up fainting. The hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (known as hCG) is the hormone that is used to determine if a woman is indeed pregnancy, typically through a blood or urine sample. This is why the hormone hCG is known as the pregnancy hormone.
The pregnancy hormone, hCG, doubles approximately every two days in the beginning of pregnancy. This can cause an expecting mom to feel faint. Other hormones can play a role in a fainting spell in a pregnant woman, including estrogen and progesterone. These hormones rise and can fluctuate, causing a pregnant woman to feel off balance and potentially faint.
12 Laying In The Wrong Position
In the last trimester, be careful about lying on your back. Most physicians recommend that their pregnant patients sleep and lie down on their sides. Let’s face it, sleeping on your stomach OR your back is quite uncomfortable when you have an almost full grown baby kicking around inside of you! However, there is a real reason why you should not lie on your back.
When a very pregnant woman lies on her back, the weight of her baby can press on her vena cava. The vena cava is a large and strong vein that carries blood from your heart to your lower body and so forth. When an expecting mom lies on her back and her vena cava becomes stressed, it could cause her to feel dizzy when she stands (or even still while lying down), and could result in her potentially fainting.
11 Imbalanced Diet
A large amount of pregnant women are at risk of suffering from low blood sugar levels during those long nine months. Sugar is processed differently in the body when you are pregnant. Because of this, it is not unusual for an expecting mom to have low blood sugar.
Having low blood sugar when you are pregnant can result in a fainting spell. Low blood sugar makes you feel light headed, dizzy, and one may experience shaking in their arms and/or legs. This can cause a pregnant woman to faint. It is very important for moms to be to eat frequently, as in a few small meals a day. And healthy snacks are always a good idea. Eating this way can reduce the chance that a pregnant woman will faint due to low blood sugar.
10 Change In Blood Vessels
When you are pregnant, your blood vessels may become more wide, and they also may be more relaxed. This is to help increase the blood flow to your baby. However, it can have a not so wonderful effect on mom to be, by causing her to feel dizzy or faint. Fainting during pregnancy is something we want all expecting moms to avoid.
They say pregnant women glow. There is a reason why this saying is true. Pregnant women often have beautiful rosy cheeks, and that is due to the increased amount of blood going through the widened and relaxed blood vessels. Remember that our bodies work to accommodate the growing baby. A change in the way your blood vessels are can help your baby, but can make you feel like you might faint.
9 Low Iron Levels
Anemia is the condition that occurs when the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Some pregnant women are at risk of becoming anemic. When you are pregnant, you produce more blood to accommodate that sweet little baby growing inside of you. Therefore, you need to also be producing enough healthy red blood cells, if not, you will become anemic.
Anemia can cause a person, whether pregnant or not, be feel quite light headed or dizzy. Anemia can make a person faint. In order to prevent a pregnant woman from becoming anemic, she needs to make sure her intake of iron and other nutrients is right, so that her body can produce red blood cells. Many pregnant women may become anemic, so prenatal vitamins help vastly with providing the right vitamins and minerals needed.
8 Baby Takes It All
Pregnant women produce more blood. After all, we are growing a human being inside our belly! Your baby needs to get the proper amount of blood. Therefore, a pregnant body automatically increases the amount of blood flow to the baby. Sometimes, this can cause issues with circulation, and make a mom to be feel like she may faint.
There are ways to increase the blood flow to your baby in a safe way. These include mild exercises to get the blood flowing to your baby. Just be careful to not overdue exercising, as that could also make you feel faint. And believe it or not, spicy foods can help ramp up blood flow to your baby in a way that makes you feel less faint. So go ahead and enjoy your food, it’s good for your baby!
7 Slow Blood Flow For Mom
When the blood is flowing like a river to your baby, it likely will make a slow return to you. The blood flow for a mom to be is slow for her. After all, her blood is working to nourish and grow her baby. We want that. But the slow blood flow for the expecting mama can make her feel a little light headed, and even may cause her to faint during her pregnancy.
If the blood flow for the mom to be is low and slow, that means it is also going slowly to her brain. This can cause lower blood pressure, which makes mom to be feel like she may faint. Circulation exercises, prenatal vitamins, and eating right can assist to make any pregnant mom feel less faint.
6 Low Consumption Rates
It is strongly recommended for pregnant women to never go too long without eating or drinking. Any pregnant lady will tell you to drink water, water, water! It is very important to stay well hydrated and well nourished. Remember, it is for your baby too.
If non pregnant people could faint due to not eating or drinking for a long time, then add in a growing baby, and the risk only goes up. Eat a few small meals during the day, and do not skimp on (healthy) snacks. Always have water with you too, and take sips throughout the day. Doing so will make you feel better and lessen any chance of fainting during your pregnancy.
5 Oh So Glorious Veins
Pregnancy can bring about varicose veins due to hormonal changes. If you already have varicose veins, pregnancy can only worsen the condition. As those lovely hormone levels increase to help grow your baby, they can also dilate- or open- veins. This leads to varicose veins in some women.
Varicose veins can make an expecting mom at risk for fainting. Severe varicose veins can cause many issues, including problems with blood flow, breathing issues, heart problems, coughing, and fainting. This more serious conditions occur when the varicose veins cause blood clots, which we know can be quite scary. With pregnant women, circulation is vital to her maintaining a sense of balance. Varicose veins can cause circulation problems, which is why a woman may faint during her pregnancy if her circulation is off.
4 Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure is not unusual during pregnancy. Your blood flow changes to accommodate your growing baby, after all! Blood flow is increased to the baby, but slowed down for the mom to be. This causes blood pressure to drop. Now you understand why your doctor takes your blood pressure at every visit!
Low blood pressure, whether you are pregnant or not, can result in a person feeling dizzy, weak, and potentially faint. For an expecting mother, fainting can be dangerous. Even the sensation of feeling dizzy or off balance can put fear into the mind of a pregnant woman. Circulation exercises can help to get the blood flowing, and decrease any chances of a fainting spell. And, as always, it is vital to follow the advice of your physician if you do have low blood pressure and are at risk of fainting.
3 Getting Up Too Quickly
We all know the feeling. You are sitting for a lengthy period of time when you suddenly stand up and feel that whoosh come over you. You likely have to return to a sitting position to shake that dizzy and uncomfortable feeling. This can occur to those who are pregnant or not. But, of course, fainting while pregnant can be quite scary.
This feeling of dizziness when you stand too quickly after sitting for a long time has to do with the way your body is regulating blood flow and blood pressure. When you have low blood pressure, you may find that you experience this dizziness more often. When you are pregnant, monitoring your blood pressure is vital. When you are sitting, stand up slowly, and maybe even hold on to something or someone if you are worried about fainting.
2 Restricting Circulation
During pregnancy, it may be tempting to try to squeeze into your old, and non-maternity jeans, but it is not a good idea to do so. You want your blood to flow freely, for the sake of you and your unborn baby. Circulation should never be restricted. If it is, it puts the mom to be at danger of interrupting the blood flow, causing low blood pressure, and putting her at risk of fainting.
When you restrict circulation, you put stress on your body. When a woman is pregnant, any stress on her body is stress to her baby as well. Wearing tight clothing can cause circulation problems. No matter the weather outside, tight clothes can cause a woman to faint during her pregnancy due to blood flow issues. For the sake of your baby, it is best to just give in and wear those maternity clothes!
1 Not Taking Breaks
There is a real reason why people are always telling pregnant women to sit, sit! Standing for long periods of time is a reason a woman might faint during her pregnancy. Standing for too long can interrupt the blood flow in a mom to be, and cause it to become abnormal.
When blood flow is abnormal, it can lead to an expecting mom to feel lightheaded and faint. This is due to poor circulation, and the blood flow pooling at the legs instead of traveling to the heart and brain (and the baby!). While not every pregnant woman will experience this, many do. So take advantage of your pregnant status and sit when you can. A combination of sitting and standing to boost circulation is ideal to prevent any fainting during pregnancy.
Sources: What To Expect, American Pregnancy, Mayo Clinic