For the most part, lightheadedness and headaches are a normal part of a healthy pregnancy. There are some warning signs to look for, however, that may point to a more serious medical condition. If any of these warning signs are present, contact your doctor or head to the emergency room right away.
Lightheadedness, or dizziness, is a common symptom among pregnant women. However, you should always report this to your doctor because it could possibly be an indicator of a serious issue. Headaches are also a common symptom to experience during pregnancy. Serious and long-term migraines may also be a sign of a serious condition, so again, consulting your doctor is advised in these instances.
First, we will explore the causes of lightheadedness and headaches, and then we will discuss common practices to help prevent these uncomfortable symptoms.
Causes & Relief
Causes for lightheadedness and headaches can range from lack of food and dehydration to circulation shifts and ectopic pregnancy. However, ectopic pregnancy will usually be accompanied by several other symptoms. Usually, headaches, dizziness or lightheadedness is nothing to worry about, however. Common causes include:
Hunger – Hunger can lead to your brain not receiving the caloric intake it needs. This can cause lightheadedness, among other symptoms. This is also a condition known as hypoglycemia: low blood sugar. Find relief by eating about six smaller meals throughout the day instead of 3 larger ones. This is especially important if you are experiencing high levels of nausea and vomiting.
Dehydration – Not having enough water in your body can cause your blood to thicken. This causes blood flow to your brain to slow. Find relief by drinking about 10 to 11, 8oz. glasses of water every day. You can also throw in some sports drinks to help replace lost electrolytes, as well. This is also especially helpful if you are experiencing severe morning sickness and are having trouble keeping down food and water.
Stress –Stress can cause a variety of problems. Some do not realize that stress leads to physical complications. There are a variety of calming techniques you can try. Find relief by finding the time each day to focus on your needs, and meditating. Meditation is simply the act of emptying your mind, and finding your center.
Circulatory Shifts –Sometimes movements like getting up to fast can cause a rapid shift in blood flow away from your brain. This can lead to bouts of dizziness which can also lead to momentarily blacking out. Find relief by getting up slowly. Don’t bend at the waist, bend at the knees. Do everything much slower to avoid lightheadedness.
Less Common Cause
Ectopic Pregnancy –An ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg has implanted somewhere outside of the uterus. This is a serious condition. This can cause severe dizziness, but may also be accompanied by vaginal bleeding and severe abdominal pain. If any of these symptoms arise, be sure to contact your doctor right away.
Other Warning Signs
- Swelling of the face
- Slurred speech
- Vision changes
- Loss of control of bodily functions
More Prevention Techniques
Exercise – Be active for about 90 minutes each day, unless otherwise directed by a physician
Stand up Straight! – Keeping good posture will have a positive impact on your circulation. It will help ease headaches and dizziness.
Take your Vitamins – Keeping up with your prenatal vitamins will continue to make sure your brain is getting the proper vitamins and minerals it needs. (They will also work wonders for your complexion, hair, and nails!)