Feeling light-headed is a common symptom of pregnancy in the first trimester and beyond. Occasional dizziness and light-headedness are generally not cause for concern and can be treated at home. However, these symptoms could be a sign of something more serious and may require a visit to your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
Feeling light-headed and dizzy during the first month of pregnancy is usually caused by the rise in hormone levels. The increase in hormones cause your blood vessels to relax and widen so that more blood can flow to your baby. As a result, blood flow to your own body decreases, causing your blood pressure to be lower than normal. Your body adjusts to these new demands on your heart and circulatory system -- but occasionally it doesn’t, resulting in light-headedness, dizziness and even fainting. Such symptoms can also be caused by low blood sugar levels due to changes in your metabolism. If you are anemic or have varicose veins, you may be more likely to suffer from light-headedness. Other causes include skipping meals, failing to stay hydrated and getting overheated.
If you do feel light-headed, sit or lie down immediately, take deep breaths and stay calm. If you’re sitting, put your head between your knees. Loosen any tight clothing and make yourself as comfortable as possible. Be sure air is circulating well in the room or open a window for some fresh air. More than likely, the feeling will pass and you shouldn’t worry.
To avoid feeling light-headed, don’t get up too quickly from sitting or lying down, and avoid standing for long periods of time. If you must stand a lot, keep your feet moving to allow for better circulation. Eat regular meals and snacks in between meals -- iron-rich foods are especially helpful. Stay hydrated by drinking eight to 10 glasses of water a day. Stay cool by avoiding hot showers, baths and stuffy, crowded places. Tight-fitting clothing can decrease circulation, so wear loose and comfortable clothes. Stress and too much exercise can also lead to light-headedness, so take it easy.
When to See the Doctor
If simple home remedies fail to relieve your symptoms, or if you actually faint, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible. If your dizziness and light-headedness are persistent, it could be the sign of a head injury. If these symptoms are accompanied by vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain, you could have a serious condition, such as an ectopic pregnancy or low-lying placenta. Relentless symptoms can also indicate anemia or another serious condition which could harm you and your baby if not treated by a physician.