Fainting During Pregnancy Can Be a Sign of Problems for Both Mother and Baby

May 29, 2019
Women have long been told fainting is a common but harmless symptom of pregnancy, but new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that it may indicate issues for both the baby and mother’s health, especially when it occurs during the first trimester. For the study, Safia Chatur, MD, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, and colleagues reviewed birth records of 481,930 babies born between 2005 and 2014, as well as medical records of the mothers for 1 year after delivery, looking for frequency, timing, and outcomes of fainting episodes. The researchers found that roughly 1% of expectant mothers fainted. Overall, 32.3% of the syncope episodes first occurred in the first trimester, 44.1% in the second trimester, and 23.6% in the third trimester; and 8% of pregnancies had >1 episode of syncope. Compared with women without syncope, women who experienced syncope were younger and primiparous. The rate of preterm birth was higher in pregnancies with syncope during the first trimester (18.3%) compared with the second (15.8%) and third trimesters (14.2%) and pregnancies without syncope (15%; PPhttps://doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.118.011608 SOURCE: University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry