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Dizziness in pregnancy | Whats normal and whats not

During pregnancy its not uncommon to experience dizzy spells from time to time.

Your body is working really hard to nourish and grow your developing baby all while keeping you going from day to day.

Often pregnant women will feel dizzy when standing up suddenly , this is because although your blood volume has increased dramatically during pregnancy , getting up too quickly can cause the blood to quickly rush to your legs.

What this means is that the blood is rushed away from your brain, making you feel dizzy and light headed.

However, dizziness isn’t just all about how quickly you stand. It can be a sign of anaemia too.

Anaemia is a low level of haemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells.

Mild anaemia is common during pregnancy because the extra fluid content of blood dilutes the number of red blood cells. Plus, the baby uses most of your iron stores before you get them. This can cause you to feel dizzy, light headed, as well as abnormally fatigued and short of breath.

Its a good idea to be mindful of how you lay down and sit when pregnant. You can unknowingly cause compression the inferior Vena Cava by the uterus.

The Vena Cava is a large vein that begins around your belly button. It is the vein responsible for bringing all the unoxygenated blood from your lower extremities to your heart.

Once the uterus and the baby reach a certain size , the vena cava can become compressed if you lay flat, delaying the return of the blood to the heart. This can decrease the blood flow to your head and brain which can cause you to feel dizzy and lightheaded.

If you are out and about, particularly alone and notice that you suddenly become dizzy, be sure to let someone know. The best option is to sit down and take a few deep breaths. The majority of people will be kind and understanding so let someone know around you, simply mentioning you are feeling dizzy and are pregnant and could you please have their seat a moment will often be enough.

If you are feeling dizzy regularly, although its likely just to be due to the physiological changes happening in your beautiful pregnant body, you should let your doctor or midwife know. They may recommend having some blood tests done and prescribe an appropriate treatment or management plan.