Why you might feel faint in pregnancy, and what it could be a sign of.
If you’re experiencing fainting, faintness or dizziness during your pregnancy it can because of an iron deficiency and the lack of red blood cells being created.
When you're pregnant, you have more blood flowing around your system. This increase in blood means you need higher iron levels.
Although you’re tested early in your pregnancy for anaemia it can develop later on and many midwives or doctors will ask you to have another iron test if they’re worried your iron levels are low.
Anaemia can be easily treated with a course of iron tablets, but don’t start taking iron tablets ‘just in case’ without talking to your doctor first.
You should increase your intake of iron-rich foods. Vitamin C helps you absorb iron, so try to have a source of vitamin (orange juice is one example) when you’re eating iron-rich foods.
Another reason you feel faint or dizzy can be because your blood sugar level is low.
Always carry some snacks with you, as going without food will affect your more now than when you weren’t pregnant.
Try to avoid getting too hot. Be aware when you’re going in and out of shops, for example, and undo your coat when inside so you don’t inadvertently overheat. Even in winter you’ll notice you’re much hotter than you usually are. Wear layers you can peel off easily.
If you feel faint or dizzy, lying down will help blood circulation to your brain.
Iron is needed for haemoglobin, the red pigment in your blood that carries oxygen around your body. When you’re pregnant, it’s normal for your haemoglobin levels to drop, as your blood is more diluted – and it’s also normal for your iron levels to be lower, too.
Anne Richley, midwife
“I used to have a big breakfast everyday but then usually work through until lunch. A couple of months ago I had a meeting that lasted the whole morning so I didn’t get lunch until 1.30pm. By the time I went out of the office to the Sainburys across the road I felt really spaced out and wobbly. At that point I learned that I really needed to keep some nuts or fruit with me, even if it meant discreetly snacking during long meetings!”
Leah, 30, 8 months pregnant
If you'd like info about pregnancy and birth delivered straight to your computer every week, check out the new Pregnancy Desktop from NHS Choices
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