2nd Trimester

Is it really “normal” to faint?

Hello! I am currently 18 weeks pregnant and I lose consciousness multiple times a day. I have been to the dr, er, and even had ambulances called on me when I faint in public, and all drs say that is completely normal. I just don’t see how it is, has anyone else had this issue?

Re: Is it really “normal” to faint?

  • Unless you have another condition that it could be typical of, I would be very skeptical of that. The ER isn’t the best for diagnosis, though, they just want to make sure you’re stable and ok to go home. If your regular doctor is dismissing your worries, try to get a second opinion. Typical things to ask about would be blood pressure, blood sugar, pulse, anemia, and hydration status. Also take notes about whether it happens at certain times (when you stand up, when you’ve been lying down, when you’re hungry, first thing in the morning, after a specific activity, etc) because that can help pinpoint the cause. And if it’s your OB who’s being dismissive, you may want to consider switching doctors. At the very least, I’d want an explanation from them of why they don’t think it’s a problem and what would make it concerning.
  • Definitely look into getting a doctor who will hear your concerns! I had a similar experience with my previous OBGYN basically just always told me everything was fine because my baby looked healthy. He ended up missing a UTI and it was a miserable experience. I have now switched and it is so much better for piece of mind. I also experienced fainting in my first trimester my doctor dismissed it but I was able to pinpoint what caused me to pass out and avoided those things. Do you notice any possible triggers that could cause it? Did you have these episodes before pregnancy? 
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  • I would definitely be pushing for an explanation, and a second opinion. It's not safe to be fainting multiple times a day, and you need to make sure whatever is causing the fainting isn't serious. It could be something simple (standing up too fast, lying on your back) that is a normal occurrence, but you need to know what's causing it so you can avoid that trigger. If you're fainting while standing or driving, you're at risk for injuring yourself or others, so you'll want to get it under control. It also may be a sign of something more serious, such as blood pressure or blood sugar or seizures. I wouldn't accept "it's normal" without an explanation of what specifically is causing it so you don't miss something serious and you can take steps to ensure your (and baby's) safety. If your PCP and OB aren't giving you answers, and you aren't able to get a second opinion from another general practitioner, I'd ask for a referral to neurology. That might not be the right specialty, but the general doc should be able to identify/rule out if it's blood sugar (an endocrinologist would be the specialist in that area), blood pressure (maybe a cardiologist would be the specialist for that), but if it's seizures you need a neuro, so I'd go there first if you're doc is stumped. 
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