Early symptom: dizziness

Dizziness can be common in early pregnancy, though fainting – also known as syncope – tends to be rare. Other symptoms of early pregnancy can include:

Dizziness and fainting in early pregnancy

In the Victorian era, fainting was an unsophisticated way of recognising if a woman was pregnant. Amazingly enough, this physical sign was probably not far from being accurate. Fainting during early and middle pregnancy can be caused by the woman’s blood vessels naturally relaxing and dilating under the influence of the hormone progesterone, lowering her blood pressure.

Fainting is not usually a problem, just a little embarrassing if you do it in public!

Causes of dizziness

During the first trimester, dizziness is thought to be related to the increased blood supply and changes in the circulatory system, which you can read about in the cardiovascular changes story.

Dizziness can also be caused by low blood sugar, or going too long without food (often for fear of morning sickness . It helps to eat protein like egg, cheese or meat at each meal to even out blood sugar.

Some women find carrying sultanas, fruit or whole wheat crackers can help to even out blood sugar levels when dizzy attacks strike.

Remedies for dizziness in early pregnancy

Besides making sure you eat small meals frequently, it helps to dress well and make sure you aren’t wearing clothes that are too tight around your neck or waist.

If you feel lightheaded, it helps to increase blood flow to the brain by lying down (if possible) or sitting down with your head between your knees.

Actually fainting is rare, but shouldn’t hurt the baby in any way.

It’s important to tell your doctor or caregiver if you do faint, as it may be a sign of anemia or another illness which needs treating.

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