Most women occasionally feel hot, faint or lightheaded during pregnancy, due to the extra weight as well as an increased toll on your heart. However, these feelings should subside quickly with rest. If the problem continues, it might be a sign of a nutrient deficiency. Have your doctor check your iron levels and examine the overall quality of your diet. Consult your doctor if the condition worsens or interferes with daily living.
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Adequate iron during pregnancy ensures that oxygen passes freely from mother to baby, Dr. Aviva Jill Romm explains in "The Natural Pregnancy Book." When your body is lacking in iron, you may feel fatigued, short of breath or irritable. You may notice heart palpitations, cold sweats or a feeling of faintness. Reduce your intake of caffeine and phosphates, commonly found in soda, which can interfere with iron absorption; eat iron-rich foods, such as dark-green leafy vegetables, pumpkin seeds, raisins, beets, red beans and eggs. If prenatal vitamins cause indigestion, switch to a whole-foods-based prenatal vitamin. Nettle tea is also a good source of iron; many natural food stores or herbal stores sell loose tea made specifically for pregnant women. Get your doctor's approval before taking any kind of supplement or using herbal remedies of any kind during pregnancy.
Ketones in the Urine
Your doctor will check for the presence of ketones in the urine at each office visit. The presence of ketones in the urine means that you are not eating enough or getting adequate nutrition and the body is burning fat to supply the calories you need, according to Romm. Physical symptoms include extreme hunger, shakiness, cold sweat, feelings of faintness and extreme exhaustion. To cure this problem, eat small, frequent meals throughout the day and make each meal count nutritionally. Focus on eating a balanced diet of healthy vegetables and leafy greens, fruits, whole grains and proteins, such as eggs, cheese and lean meats. Avoid processed foods that are high in fat or sugar. Increase your intake of water and nutrient-rich herbal teas.
General Comfort Measures
Once you've ensured that your diet has adequate nutrition, incorporate periods of exercise — with your doctor's approval — and rest into every day. Go for a walk in the morning or evening if walking during the heat of the day causes feelings of faintness. Swimming is an excellent prenatal exercise that relieves stress on the joints and back and stretches sore muscles while lowering your body temperature. Take time during the day to close your eyes briefly or sit down and rest. Even a few minutes of yoga or meditation before bedtime or early in the morning can help you feel more relaxed and prepared to cope with the demands of the day.
In addition to nettles, many other herbs are typically considered safe during pregnancy and can ease fatigue and feelings of faintness during pregnancy. You should get your doctor's approval, however, before using any herbal remedies during pregnancy. If she approves, make a nurturing pregnancy tea by mixing 2 parts raspberry leaf, 2 parts nettle leaf, 4 parts peppermint and 1 part alfalfa. Steep 4 tbsp. of this mixture in 1 quart of water for 20 minutes and strain. Drink warm or cold, sweetened with honey. This nurturing tea is high in vitamins A, D, E, and K, according to Rosemary Gladstar, herbalist and author of "Herbal Healing for Women."
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- "The Natural Pregnancy Book"; Aviva Jill Romm, M.D.; 2003
- "Herbal Healing for Women"; Rosemary Gladstar; 1993
- "Mothering" magazine; Are Herbs Safe During Pregnancy?; Aviva Romm, M.D.; January-February 2008
- BabyCenter: Is it normal to have hot flashes during pregnancy?