Pregnant women, who faint especially during the first trimester of pregnancy, may be at a higher risk of health issues for themselves and their babies, as per a new study.
Published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the study, in a first, analysed the incidence and impact of fainting during pregnancy in 481,930 cases in Alberta, Canada, between 2005 and 2014. It also studied the trends in timing, frequency and health complication for infants and mothers in the first year after pregnancy among those who fainted during the period. Among them, nearly a third had a fainting episode in their first trimester.
The study concluded that fainting during pregnancy occurred in about one per cent or 10 in 1,000 pregnancies but “appears to be increasing by five per cent each year,” according to Padma Kaul, senior study author and professor of medicine, University of Alberta in Canada.
As per the findings, 4.9 per cent of children born of pregnancies with multiple fainting episodes, showed congenital anomalies, higher than the 2.9 per cent among children born of pregnancies with only one fainting spell.
The rate of premature birth was also recorded at 18.3 per cent in pregnancies with fainting during the first trimester, compared to 15.8 per cent during the second trimester, 14.2 per cent in the third trimester and 15 per cent for pregnancies without fainting.
Again, women with fainting episodes during pregnancy showed higher rates of abnormal heart rhythms and fainting within a year of delivery, compared to other women who did not faint during their pregnancy.
“The findings of our study suggest that timing of fainting during pregnancy may be important. When the fainting happens early during pregnancy or multiple times during pregnancy, it may be associated with both short and long term health issues for the baby and the mother,” Kaul was quoted as saying.