Signs & symptoms associated with pregnancy dizziness

Written by denise m. covert, r.n.
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Signs & symptoms associated with pregnancy dizziness
Many women can experience dizziness during pregnancy. (pregnancy on red image by starush from Fotolia.com)

Dizziness is a common symptom during pregnancy, and can be one of the earliest signs that may let a woman know that she is with child. Because it has various causes, many women may experience dizziness at some point during their pregnancy. Call your doctor if the dizziness is frequent or doesn't go away quickly, or if you have had a recent head injury. Also, call your physician immediately if dizziness is accompanied by severe headaches, blurred vision, palpitations, numbness, slurred speech, bleeding or actual fainting.

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Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)

Low blood pressure occurs when hormones cause blood vessels to relax and widen during pregnancy, and the mother is producing extra blood for the baby. Dizziness from hypotension is usually felt after standing up too quickly, bending over or getting out of bed too quickly. While lower than normal blood pressure is common during pregnancy, a blood pressure reading of 90/60 or less is cause for concern, according to the Mayo Clinic's website.

Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)

Dizziness can occur from hypoglycaemia, which is a common problem for pregnant women whose nutritional needs become greater as the baby grows. Other symptoms of hypoglycaemia are blurred or double vision, sweating, confusion, anxiety and hunger. Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day helps keep blood sugar levels even.

Lying on Your Back

In the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, dizziness may occur when a woman lies flat on her back. This is due to the weight of her uterus compressing the inferior vena cava, the large vein that brings blood from the lower extremities back to the heart. Sleeping on your side or putting a pillow under your right side, lying at an angle, can help avoid pressure on this major vessel. Usually dizziness and a vague discomfort in the legs will cause you to change positions, even if you're asleep. However, if this continues for hours or days, it could lead to swelling and discolouration of the legs.

Dehydration

Like hypoglycaemia, dehydration is caused by the increased needs of both the mother and foetus, especially the production and maintenance of amniotic fluid. Besides dizziness, other symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, sleepiness, decreased urine production, muscle weakness or headache. According to MayoClinic.com, dehydration can usually be managed at home by increasing the intake of fluids. In severe cases, however, immediate medical intervention and IV fluids are necessary.

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