Month five Q&A
Q:I’m five months pregnant and I’ve been experiencing a lot of dizziness and fatigue. I thought I was supposed to feel better in the middle of my pregnancy. It’s still three weeks before I go to the clinic again – should I try to get help for this earlier, or will it pass?
A:Cynthia answers: The main cause of dizziness in pregnancy is due to the rising hormones that cause your blood vessels to relax and widen. This helps increase the blood flow to your baby, but it slows the return of the blood in the veins to you. This causes your blood pressure to be lower than usual, which can reduce the blood flow to your brain, temporarily causing dizziness. Dizziness is also caused by low blood sugar levels that may occur as your body adapts to changes in your metabolism. Women who are anaemic or who have varicose veins may be more susceptible to dizziness than others. During this stage of pregnancy, dizziness may be because your growing uterus puts pressure on the blood vessels. Here are some helpful suggestions to reduce dizziness: • Avoid standing for long periods. If you must stand, make sure that you keep your feet moving to help increase circulation. • Get up slowly from either sitting or lying down (this is especially important when you are getting out of the bath). • Eat regularly. Avoid long periods between meals; it is better to snack throughout the day. • Avoid hot baths or showers. • Avoid lying on your back as the uterus grows. • Wear loose, comfortable clothing to avoid restricting circulation. • Eat foods rich in iron. When to contact your health care provider: • Go to the clinic immediately if your dizziness is accompanied by vaginal bleeding and/or pain in your abdomen, blurred vision, headaches, or palpitations • This may be a symptom of severe anaemia or some other illness that could have a negative effect on your pregnancy.