Dizziness During Pregnancy: Causes & Prevention

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

If you experience dizziness during pregnancy, there are a number of potential causes and preventative measures to prevent a fall and put your mind at ease.

What is Dizziness during Pregnancy?

Feeling dizziness or lightheadedness during pregnancy is quite common, and is primarily due to the drastic changes to your cardiovascular and circulatory system during pregnancy. Early in your pregnancy, as your body works to adjust quickly to the many changes it is undergoing, your blood pressure will actually decrease, due to the presence of progesterone, which can relax the tension in your blood vessels. This can cause some feelings of dizziness in your first trimester. Around the midpoint of your pregnancy, you may also experience dizziness as your uterus continues to expand and blood flows more slowly from the lower part of your body, which can result in feelings of lightheadedness, particularly when you stand up too quickly. [1]

This dizziness is often nothing more than passing lightheadedness, but in some cases, it can cause you to be imbalanced, or even faint. This can be dangerous, as the risk of a fall during pregnancy means a greater chance of harming the unborn child. If you discover that you are susceptible to dizziness during pregnancy, it is imperative to be more careful and speak with your doctor about potential remedies or treatments.

A pregnant woman sitting on a couch holding her head and looking stressed

Pregnancy can give rise to many health conditions. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Causes of Dizziness during Pregnancy

When you become pregnant, your body begins to produce more blood, your heart begins to beat faster and your blood pressure often rises. All of the hormonal and physical changes in your body can be taxing, but they also require resources and oxygenated blood to flow. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lower the blood flow to the brain, resulting in dizziness, or even the feeling that you might faint.

While the body and the nervous system is designed to account for these physiological changes, these basic symptoms of dizziness, including nausea, vertigo, and an inability to walk properly, may still appear in any pregnant woman. You are far more likely to experience dizziness during pregnancy if you haven’t eaten enough food if you are excessively hot if you’ve been lying down for a long time, and if you stand up too quickly. All of these can affect your energy, blood pressure, and balance levels, particularly during pregnancy. [2]

Prevention of Dizziness During Pregnancy

Some of the best ways to prevent dizziness during pregnancy include lying on your side, standing up slowly, eating regularly, staying cool, and cutting back on excessive exercise, as well as certain natural remedies, such as aromatherapy, acupuncture, and massage.

Lying on Your Side

If you lie on your back, your blood can pool and not move through the body as effectively, leading to a higher risk of being dizzy when you stand up. [3]

Staying Cool

If your body temperature is hot, you are far more susceptible to feeling lightheaded, and in combination with low blood pressure or low blood sugar, this can easily result in dizziness. Be sure to have ice water and seek out air conditioning on particularly hot days. [4]

Standing Up

If you stand up too quickly, the force of gravity can rob your brain of blood flow, without pumping back replacement blood fast enough, resulting in the sensation of dizziness. Make sure you stand up slowly so that your body gets time to react to your new position. [5]


You need to eat enough food on a daily basis for your own energy needs, and the appetite of your growing baby. Hunger is one of the major causes of dizziness in expectant mothers. [6]

Additional Information

You should contact your doctor if your dizziness does not pass within a minute or two, or if you are experiencing dizziness every time you stand up. Furthermore, if you faint, you should definitely go to see a doctor, to check the health of the baby and take a more proactive response to your symptoms of dizziness. Generally, these symptoms are common from time to time, but if they are accompanied by severe headaches, blurred vision, numbness, tingling, chest pain or shortness of breath, it could be a sign of something more serious, and you should seek medical attention immediately. [7]

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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