Timothy C. Hain, MD

Most recent update: March 7, 2021

There are several causes of postpartum vertigo, or in other words, dizziness or spinning sensations that occur after delivery of a baby:

1. Positional Vertigo, and particularly Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo or BPPV , is the most common type of severe dizziness. It is easily recognized by the pattern of dizziness that is brought only when the head is placed in certain positions. There are several good treatments for BPPV and the prognosis for this syndrome, in the proper hands, is excellent.

2. Postpartum migraine. Dizziness combined with migraine headaches. Hormonal fluctuations are, of course, common after delivery of a baby. This can cause migraine headaches, including migraine variants with little or no headache. This most commonly occurs in persons whose migraines went away during pregancy.

3. Perilymph fistula. Usually symptoms of imbalance and dizziness provoked by straining or blowing the nose. The changes in collagen during pregancy combined with the large pressures that may be exerted to accomplish delivery may creat this situation. People with fistula may also get dizzy with loud noises (called Tullio's phenomenon). The frequency to which this syndrome occurs is controversial, but general opinion holds that it is rare. 

4. Psychogenic vertigo. There are many psychological changes that are associated with having a new baby. Depression is common after delivery. These are rare sources of vertigo in this context..

5. Otosclerosis. This ear condition associated with hearing loss often worsens during pregnancy.