Are you pregnant and frequently dizzy? Should you be alarmed? There's no need to worry: dizziness is very common during pregnancy. Elia explains everything you need to know about it!
What causes dizziness during pregnancy?
Dizziness or malaise occurs when not enough blood reaches your brain. This happens more regularly during pregnancy. There are many reasons for this.
Change in blood pressure
The primary cause of dizziness during pregnancy is blood pressure. Pregnant women often have lower blood pressure than others. This is due to the hormone progesterone, which widens blood vessel walls and reduces the amount of blood reaching the brain.
This type of vertigo can be particularly noticeable when you stand up too quickly, or if you've been walking or standing for a long time.
Hypoglycemia or anemia
Hypoglycemia can also cause dizziness. During pregnancy, the mother-to-be's blood sugar mechanisms are modified. Then, at the start of pregnancy, with the effect of estrogen and progesterone, β-cells increase, both in volume and in number.
The consequence: the insulin response to glucose will increase, lowering maternal blood glucose levels by around 10%. This favors hypoglycemia, even more so if you 're away from meals. Hypoglycemia is characterized by dizziness, sweating and weakness.
Anemia, i.e. low ferritin levels, can also lead to dizziness. Other symptoms of anemia include paleness, fatigue and shortness of breath on exertion and at rest.
When does dizziness occur during pregnancy?
Vertigo can occur at different times during pregnancy.
At the start of pregnancy, hormonal changes cause blood circulation to change, with changes in heart rate and estrogen blood flow, resulting in lower blood pressure.
End of pregnancy
At the end of pregnancy, apart from fatigue, one phenomenon can lead to dizziness: compression of the vena cava when lying down. The more the uterus expands, the more it presses on the vena cava. This compression slows venous blood flow and blood pressure.
Is dizziness dangerous for pregnant women?
Dizziness is common during pregnancy. However, if the intensity of dizziness increases abnormally and blood pressure shows abnormalities, consult your gynaecologist. Especially if your dizziness is accompanied by clinical signs.
Bleeding and abdominal pain may be signs of miscarriage, extra uterine pregnancy or placental problems. Talk to your healthcare professional to assess the risks.
If your discomfort is also associated with severe headaches, edema, increased blood pressure or blurred vision, it may be a sign of pre-eclampsia, a dangerous condition for both mother and child l.
How can I avoid dizziness during pregnancy?
There's no miracle solution to avoid vertigo. But there are a few simple things you can do to limit your dizziness:
- Don't get up too quickly;
- Eat at regular intervals, in a balanced and sufficient manner. You can also carry a snack if you feel hungry or have low energy levels;
- Choose iron-rich foods;
- Keep sufficiently hydrated: at least 2l of water a day;
- If you feel dizzy when you lie down, lie on your left side: this will prevent your organs from pressing on lone of your blood vessels;
- Dress so that you can easily remove the layers if you get too hot.
Vertigo is mostly benign, so there's no need to panic! SHowever, if they become too frequent and/or disabling, talk to your doctor, who will order a blood test to check that everything's okay.
Pregnancy dizziness FAQs
Do dizzy spells appear at 1 week of pregnancy?
Generally speaking, the first week of pregnancy is not yet marked by symptoms. Dizziness may appear during the first trimester, due to the hormonal changes that pregnancy brings.
Which deficiencies cause dizziness during pregnancy?
Anemia (iron deficiency) is the main cause of vertigo. Your doctor may prescribe an anemic treatment if a deficiency is detected following a blood test.
What's the difference between dizziness and malaise?
Vertigo is characterized by head spinning when the discomfort is loss of consciousness. It's normal to feel dizzy during pregnancy, but if you feel faint, it's a sign that your pregnancy is at risk. If you feel faint for the first time, consult your doctor immediately.