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.
For more information on local services please click here.
When to call an ambulance:
Go to the nearest Hospital Emergency (A&E) Department or phone 999
Call your maternity unit if you:
Self care at home if you have no red or amber signs
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.