How to deal with vertigo while you’re pregnant

Finding out that you’re pregnant might be the happiest moment of your life, but the following 9 months are no walk in the park. While you’re entitled to plenty of pampering and perks, there’s also those annoying pregnancy symptoms that you must deal with. Dizziness and vertigo, where you feel like the room is spinning even when everything’s stationary, are amongst the most troublesome symptoms. Although, it usually passes within seconds, there are times when it can last much longer.

What Causes Vertigo During Pregnancy

Although the onset of vertigo during pregnancy can come as a nasty shock, it’s usually quite easy to explain. In most cases, the symptom surfaces because of temporary changes in the flow of blood to your brain. This may sound scary, but it’s common, as a large amount of blood is now being diverted to your baby. Pregnancy hormones cause dilation of the blood vessels, easing blood flow to the fetus, but this makes it harder for blood to reach the brain.

Pregnancy anaemia can also cause vertigo to surface during pregnancy. In rare cases, vertigo may result from Benign Positional Vertigo (BPV), which is not related to pregnancy. In such cases, the symptom would surface only in specific body positions and you may also notice changes in hearing. In case of BPV, you should contact your health care provider.

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How to Deal with Vertigo During Pregnancy

First off, when you experience vertigo you should avoid all tasks and activities that could put you at risk of injury. This would include driving, exercising, or operating any machinery.

When you do experience vertigo or dizziness, lie down immediately to avoid the risk of passing out and falling. When lying down, elevate your feet to ease blood flow to the brain. If you can’t lie down, sit down and bend forward as much as you can. Obviously, listen to your body and only bend forward as far as is possible without causing any discomfort. Lying or sitting in such postures will ease blood flow to the brain, providing quick relief. There’s not much else that you can do for vertigo relief, but you can also try a few home remedies.

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Some studies suggest that ginger can help relieve vertigo symptoms quite effectively. You can consume fresh ginger juice, use ginger in your food, or prepare ginger tea. Ginger may also work as an antiemetic, helping prevent nausea and vomiting. While ginger is generally regarded as safe, you should exercise caution during pregnancy. There are concerns that high doses can increase the risk of complications or miscarriage, so don’t exceed 1500 mg.

According to a study published in the British Journal of General Practice, exercise therapy may have a role to play in the management of vertigo. Considering such findings, it may help to take up pregnancy aerobics, yoga, or Tai chi. In addition to improving flexibility and balance, these activities also help to lower stress levels, reducing the risk of vertigo.

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Gingko biloba is also regarded as an effective vertigo remedy but is best avoided during pregnancy. There is inadequate research on its safety profile during pregnancy and it could increase the risk of bleeding.

The best way to deal with vertigo would of course be to make changes to your diet and lifestyle. Make it a point to eat frequently and stay nourished, while increasing fluid intake to avoid dehydration. Get as much fresh air as you can, avoid getting out of bed or a chair quickly, and switch to sleeping on your side as the pregnancy progresses. If your vertigo is severe and you can get no relief, contact your health care provider immediately.

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