How to manage lightheadedness
3 MINUTE READ
Here we look at how to manage lightheadedness
from lying to seated and standing, as well as
how to get up from your Belloost Pillow
if you have lightheadedness
One of the common findings in pregnancy is lightheadedness when changing positions. Most commonly, lying to seated, or seated to standing position. This is as a result of differences in blood pressure and ‘shifting of blood’ to accommodate the needs of the body. Commonly, lightheadedness is a finding seen amongst the second or third trimester. Remember that as the pregnancy progresses, there is a lot more blood needed in order to supply to the uterus and for the baby to grow.
Here are some useful points to help you avoid lightheadedness from happening and manage it better if it does occur.
1. Remain hydrated (8-10 oz glass x8 per day)
2. Use a slower motion when changing positions
3. Avoid lying flat on your back throughout the night or for long periods
4. Use comfortable clothing to prevent circulation restriction
Getting up from a lying position
During pregnancy, lying on your side is a preferred position for comfort, as well as optimising blood flow to the uterus and return to the heart (particularly to the left side). From this position you can lower your legs off of the bed and use your arms to push yourself to an upright position. By performing this in stages, you can achieve a gradual return of blood to the heart and head, and it reduces a sudden change in blood pressure from occurring. Similarly, when transitioning to a standing position, take a few breaths and gently move to the edge of the seat of bed and place one foot slightly forward from the other. Push off the surface, and lean into the front leg.
The Belloost pillow is a safe and well investigated device that helps mum-to-be relax at home, but also birth practitioners to assess and perform their care. The same idea is applied to when standing up from your Belloost pillow at home; break the motion into stages. Use breathing at all times - a good pattern is breathing in through your nose for four counts and out through the mouth for six counts.
To get up from your Belloost pillow, bring your arms up by your shoulders. Push yourself onto your hands and knees and come back to a kneeling position. Take a few breaths and relax. From here usually is a good idea to have a chair nearby so you can support yourself once you are up.
Please remember that if you are concerned, contact your doctor or midwife for further personalised advice.
Bleeding, B. B., Deep, C. C., Feeling, F., High, H., Indigestion, I., Leaking, I., Urinating, N., Stretch, S., & Vaginal, T. (2015). Common health problems in pregnancy (p. 3). http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/common-pregnancy-problems.aspx#Cramp
Heiskanen, N., Saarelainen, H., Valtonen, P., Lyyra-laitinen, T., Laitinen, T., Vanninen, E., & Heinonen, S. (2008). Blood pressure and heart rate variability analysis of orthostatic challenge in normal human pregnancies. Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging, 28(6), 384–390. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-097X.2008.00818.x