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Fainting in Pregnancy

Feeling Light Headed and Passing Out


Updated May 29, 2014

Feeling Ill in Pregnancy
Photo © Laurence Monneret/Getty Images

Pregnancy is a time of change. Some of those body changes make you more apt to feel dizzy or light headed. Sometimes you might even hear of women passing out or fainting.

As your body adapts to pregnancy, your heart works harder and you have more blood volume to take care of your needs and the needs of your baby. Sometimes certain positions or conditions lead to you feeling a shift in your blood pressure and causing you to feel off balance, or out of sorts. Some of these include:

  • Changing positions suddenly, particularly when getting up.
  • Lying on your back (particularly after month four)
  • Not enough food
  • Overheating (any cause)
  • Dehydration
  • Medical causes like low blood pressure or anemia

If you feel dizzy, stop what you're doing and sit down, even if it's on the floor. You should not drive, operate heavy machinery or do anything involving balance. Sit down until the spell passes and you no longer feel as though you might pass out. Have someone bring you something to drink and a snack.

If this occurs frequently or if it is accompanied with slurred speech, disturbed visions or other worrisome symptoms, call your practitioner right away.

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