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:
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:
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; however see below for advice about when you should seek advice.
call an ambulance for the pregnant lady if:
Go to the nearest Hospital Emergency (A&E) Department or phone 999
Call your maternity unit if you:
If this is your first episode of fainting, please contact your GP or NHS 111 out of hours to discuss further
You need to contact your maternity unit or GP/NHS 111 depending on the advice to the left.
Self care at home if you have no red or amber signs
Contact your maternity unit if you are still concerned
Your local maternity unit is staffed 24 hours a day with
obstetrician s and midwives to help care for you, your baby and your pregnancy
related health concerns. For some AMBER
concerns it may be possible to be seen in a midwifery led unit if it is more
convenient for you. For health concerns that are not related to your pregnancy
you are advised to see your GP, call NHS 111 out of hours, or attend A&E if
it is an emergency.
To find the contact numbers for your local maternity unit, please click here.
Whilst you may have individual contact
details for your community midwife, if you are concerned about your pregnancy
we advise you call the maternity unit on the numbers provided because staff are
available 24 hours a day. Please do not leave urgent voicemails or text on a
community midwife’s phone.
GPs assess, treat and manage a whole range of health
problems. They also provide health education, give vaccinations and can arrange
referral to a hospital specialist should you need it. Whilst pregnant, you will
have regular appointments with a midwife but it is still important to continue
with any ongoing care from your GP.
NHS 111 can ask you questions to assess your symptoms, give
you advice or can put you in touch with a GP out of usual working hours.
A&E departments provide vital care for life threatening
emergencies, such as suspected heart attack or breathing difficulties. If you are not sure it’s an emergency, call
111 for advice.