Pregnant women can often feel faint. This is due to hormonal changes. Fainting happens if your brain is not getting enough blood and, therefore, not enough oxygen.
You are most likely to feel faint if you stand up too quickly from a chair or when getting out of a hot bath, but it can also happen when you are lying on your back.
Avoiding feeling faint
Here are some tips to help avoid feeling faint:
try to get up slowly after sitting or lying down
eat small regular meals and stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water
if you feel faint when standing still, find a seat quickly and the faintness should pass – if it doesn't, lie down on your side
if you feel faint while lying on your back, turn onto your side.
It's better not to lie flat on your back in later pregnancy or during labour. The weight of your baby, uterus (womb), amniotic fluid and placenta can press on the main blood vessels that run down your back and can reduce the amount of blood returning to your heart.
You may experience the following symptoms just before fainting:
a sudden, clammy sweat
feeling sick (nausea)
fast, deep breathing
blurred vision or spots in front of your eyes
ringing in your ears
This will usually be followed by a loss of strength and you then passing out.
When you collapse to the ground, your head and heart are on the same level. This means your heart doesn't have to work as hard to push blood up to your brain. You should return to consciousness after about 20 seconds. Fainting is not usually a cause for concern, although you should always contact your midwife for more advice.
If something just doesn't feel right contact your local maternity team
East and North Hertfordshire (The Lister Hospital):
West Essex (The Princess Alexandra Hospital):
01279 444455, extension 2945
South and West Hertfordshire (Watford General Hospital):
For more information on local services please click here.