A notable number of women experience dizziness during pregnancy. The scientific explanation for this is that, during that period, the body of a woman’s body undergoes a lot of cardiovascular changes. The body is supposed to undergo self-initiating adaptive changes in its cardiovascular and nervous systems to enable normal functioning, especially in maintaining continuous supply of blood to the brain. The consequences of failure of such adaptive mechanisms include fainting and giddiness.
One of the significant changes that occur to women during gestation is an increase in the rate of heart beat. This is accompanied by increment in blood volumes by about 45%. They also undergo dilation of blood vessels, resulting in low blood pressure. A woman experiences the lowest blood pressure levels at around mid-pregnancy. This drop is only restored to normal close to the end of gestation period.
Medical experts have identified a number of ways that can help in handling dizziness. It is critical that a woman lies down if she experiences vertigo. This prevents her from suffering injury by falling. She should also stop doing any activity that may bring harm to her or others, for instance operating machinery or driving.
The basic cause of dizziness and fainting is an inadequate supply of blood to the brain. First aid measures, hence, should aim to restore this supply. One way of achieving this is by resting the victim in a horizontal position, but with the head slightly lower than the rest of the body. Where there is no space to lie, it is advisable that the victim sits, then put her head between her knees. The woman may also lie on her left side, since this increases blood flow to both the heart and the brain.
A woman’s actions may increase the risk of her fainting or experiencing some momentary light headed periods. Top on this list is a quick shift in position from either lying or sitting to standing. Blood pools around the feet and in lower legs during resting periods. The body may not be able to restore blood flow to the heart and brain upon springing from the rest position, hence resulting in dizziness. Therefore, it is advisable for pregnant women not to spring from resting positions to standing.
Blood may also pool around the feet when a person stands at the same position for prolonged periods. Expectant women are advisable to walk around after short periods of being stationary. In case this is not possible, exercising legs could also help improve blood circulation. Wearing support stockings has also been proven to improve circulation.
Pregnant woman should take note of their sleeping positions since how they sleep may increase chances of experiencing being light headed. A woman should not lie on their stomachs or backs during their second and third trimesters. This is because such positions cause the uterus to exert extra pressure on Vena Cava (IVC) vein slowing circulation in the lower abdomen. They should lie of their left side instead.
Vasovagal syncope may also result in dizziness during pregnancy. This is a condition resulting from straining during activities such as urination or coughing, dehydration, pain or anxiety. Symptoms associated with this condition are a feeling of warmth, nausea, yawning, sweating and paleness. It is advisable to lie or sit upon experiencing such symptoms.