What Can You Do About High Blood Pressure Before Pregnancy
Heres what you can do:
- Get a preconception checkup. This is a medical checkup you get before pregnancy to take care of health conditions that may affect your pregnancy.
- Use birth control until your blood pressure is under control. Birth control is methods you can use to keep from getting pregnant. Condoms and birth control pills are examples of birth control.
- Get to a healthy weight. Talk to your provider about the weight thats right for you.
- Eat healthy foods.
- Do something active every day.
- Dont smoke. Smoking is dangerous for people with high blood pressure because it damages blood vessel walls.
Causes Of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
There are several possible causes of high blood pressure during pregnancy, as listed below:
- Overweight or obesity According to a study published in the Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, pre-pregnancy obesity, excessive gestational weight gain, and increased intake of energy act as potential risk factors for developing gestational hypertension.
- Sedentary lifestyle Studies have shown that women who are physically more active during pregnancy tend to have a lower risk of preeclampsia, while women with increased levels of sedentary activity are at increased risk.
- High blood pressure before conception Women with hypertension before pregnancy continue to have this condition during this pregnancy. Moreover, when a woman has pre-existing hypertension or happens to develop hypertension before the 20th week of pregnancy, it is called chronic hypertension.
- Assisted technique pregnancy, such as IVF Using assistive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization, during the conception process also increases the risk of high blood pressure in a pregnant woman, according to a study published in the Journal of Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine.
Other causes include the following:
- Spots or stars in front of the eyes
- Pain in the upper-right side of the abdomen
How Do We Reduce The Risk
Patient education and empowerment are cornerstones of our program. Women need to understand that any patient with a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy is at risk for developing severe hypertension in the postpartum period.
Two ways you can help reduce your risks include visiting the doctor prior to the six-week checkup and monitoring your blood pressure at home.
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Try Potassium It Can Help
Some health professionals recommend increasing your potassium intake if you have high blood pressure. But what is potassium? You could be forgiven for thinking its a bad thing it is, after all, an alkali metal. However, potassium is actually vital for your health. Many fruits, especially bananas, are high in potassium and its effects can balance the negative impact of sodium. But before you load up on potassium, make sure you speak with your doctor! Increasing your potassium intake is only a good idea if you are currently below the ideal level. So have a chat with your doctor and take it from there.
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Tracking Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
A blood pressure reading is a fraction: your systolic blood pressure over your diastolic blood pressure.
The top number is your systolic pressure, which is a measurement of the pressure on your arteries when the heart is beating or squeezing blood forward through your body.
The diastolic pressure, or the lower number, is a measurement of the blood pressure in your arteries when the heart is at rest.
To determine what your normal blood pressure is during pregnancy, your doctor will likely take a baseline blood pressure measurement at your first visit. Then they will measure your blood pressure at every visit that follows.
Normal blood pressure is anything less than 120/80 mm Hg.
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Treating Low Blood Pressure
The main goal in treating low blood pressure during pregnancy is symptom reduction, especially if you are experiencing dizziness and fainting.;For the most part, many people can manage symptoms of low blood pressure with lifestyle modifications, such as:;
- Staying hydrated;
- Consuming enough calories to support you and your baby
- Avoiding standing for long periods of time
- Moving slowly from a supine or prone position to a standing position
Blood pressure tends to be lower when a person is at rest and can cause blood to pool in the legs, so it’s important to move positions or get up from a seated or reclining position slowly to avoid the onset of symptoms, such as dizziness or fainting.
If a patient is on a medication that may cause low blood pressure, we would recommend discontinuing the medication, explains Atlas. Like high blood pressure, treating low blood pressure with medication during pregnancy is only recommended when absolutely necessaryand only with medications known to be safe during pregnancy.
How To Have Good Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
This article was co-authored by Carrie Noriega, MD. Dr. Noriega is a Board Certified Obstetrician & Gynecologist and medical writer in Colorado. She specializes in womens health, rheumatology, pulmonology, infectious disease, and gastroenterology. She received her MD from the Creighton School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska and completed her residency at the University of Missouri – Kansas City in 2005. This article has been viewed 6,004 times.
It is important to have good blood pressure during pregnancy to avoid any health complications for either you or your baby. With a combination of lifestyle strategies and medications as needed, you can keep your blood pressure in a healthy range to optimize the success of your pregnancy.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican College of Obstetricians and GynecologistsProfessional association of OB/GYNs focused on education and public outreat initiativesGo to source
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How Do We Treat It
ACOG guidelines for preeclampsia recommend IV medication treatment that begins within 30 to 60 minutes of confirmed severe, acute hypertension. The goal is to lower the patient’s blood pressure to between 140/90 and 150/100 to prevent prolonged exposure to severely high blood pressure.
During this time, the care team will frequently check your blood pressure and monitor the baby for signs of distress, such as changes in fetal activity or heart rate. The only way to “cure” preeclampsia is to deliver the baby often, patients with preeclampsia must deliver early to prevent the mother from having a potentially deadly stroke or seizure.
Emergencypostpartum hypertension may also be treated with IV therapy or oral medication. In some cases, the doctor may recommend magnesium therapy to prevent preeclampsia-induced seizures. Patients who go to their local doctor’s office with very high postpartum blood pressure should be transferred to a hospital for treatment and monitoring.
Chronic hypertension, while not usually an emergency, is a long-term health risk that must be controlled. Most patients can achieve a healthy blood pressure through a combination of medication, exercise, and diet changes. Increasing exercise and reducing sodium are two key factors in getting blood pressure to a healthier level.
Are There Any Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy
Symptoms can vary from person to person and at each pregnancy, but the main symptom of high blood pressure when youre expecting is a high reading in the second half of gestation, usually around week 20. Yet one of the tricky things about high blood pressure when youre pregnant is that some women feel completely normal and dont show any symptoms at all.
Foods That Help You Lower Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
Blood pressure spike during pregnancy is pretty normal. There are many foods which can help you combat that. Starting from alfalfa, celery, cucumber and Indian gooseberry to olive oil,parsley, and potato, there are many options you can try in order to reduce your overall blood pressure during pregnancy.
Higher blood pressure often causes various problems during pregnancy. That is why having rice during pregnancy is good as it lowers the blood pressure. Having plenty of fruits and vegetables is also a good idea as they also have a calming effect on the blood vessels.
Vegetable juices are also very good in controlling blood pressure. Along with that you also need to potassium and calcium rich foods. Roauwolfia is also very good for you to lower your blood pressure. .
Monitor Your Weight :
Being overweight is a risk factor for hypertension and thus, you need to take caution to keep your pregnancy weight gain within healthy limits. A proper diet and regular exercise are ways to manage your weight gain during pregnancy.
- Preeclampsia is associated with hypertension and weight gain during pregnancy, so it is important to avoid gaining too much weight and to avoid gaining weight too quickly. Preeclampsia can lead to kidney and liver problems for the mother and complications for the baby.
- Being overweight also increases the risk of other health conditions during pregnancy, such as back aches, exhaustion, leg cramps, hemorrhoids, gestational diabetes, heart burn and aching joints.
Through a healthy diet and a proper exercise routine, you can get to a healthy weight. Talk to your doctor about the weight thats right for you and follow the instructions given by your doctor.
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Start Taking Antihypertensive Medication Or Adjust The Previous Ones
Take the patient to the doctor as soon as possible and get their medication adjusted if they were already taking the medicine. If they were never taking it, get it started. The doctor will explain you regarding any prerequisites or tests required for your patient. Its important not only to control blood pressure before any surgery but also during routine life too, as abnormal blood pressure and hypertension can lead to many complications, including death.
Doctor may ask you to get bp charting done for a week at least too before starting the medicine. Simply follow whatever the cardiologist suggests.
Remember, not to wait for the home remedies to lower blood pressure to kick in and lower it for you. Get the medicine and get the blood pressure in control as soon as possible and then start shifting to blood pressure lowering remedies and the natural ways to lower blood pressure if you want to, while keeping the blood pressure in control.
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Low Blood Pressure During Pregnancy: Causes Symptoms Treatment & Prevention
It is very common for pregnant women to experience low blood pressure, because quite a lot of body changes occur at this time. Most women will notice their blood pressure dropping at some point early on in their first trimester, and reaching its lowest in the middle of their second trimester. Every prenatal appointment will involve checking your blood pressure by the doctor to ensure your pregnancy proceeds well, as a crucial part of care during pregnancy. In most cases, this drop wont lead to serious consequences, but in certain circumstances it can pose a danger to the mother and the baby.
Causes of Low Blood Pressure during Pregnancy
1. Expansion of Blood Vessels
Low blood pressure during pregnancy can be due to the blood vessels and their expansion. In fact, pregnant women may drop by 5 to 10 points of systolic pressure and 10 to 15 points for diastolic pressure. In pregnancy, blood vessels expand to prepare for supplying the fetus, while the blood volume wont reach to that much, your heart therefore must work hard to circulate blood, leading to lower blood pressure.
2. Hypotension in Supine Position
3. Hypotension When Rising
4. Deficiencies like AnemiaYou may develop anemia if you dont get enough folic acid or vitamin B12. Anemia leads to low blood pressure, causing the issue. It is also possible for dehydration to lead to body deficiencies that slow down circulation. You can fight these potential nutritional deficiencies with a prenatal vitamin.
When To Seek Medical Treatment
Eating A Healthy Diet
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How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed
High blood pressure is usually found during a prenatal visit. This is one reason it’s so important to go to all of your prenatal checkups.
At each prenatal visit, your doctor, nurse, or midwife will:
- Check your blood pressure. A sudden increase in blood pressure often is the first sign of a problem.
- Test your urine for protein. Too much protein in the urine is a sign of kidney damage caused by pre-eclampsia.
- Check your weight. Rapid weight gain can be a sign of pre-eclampsia.
If you have high blood pressure while you’re pregnant, you will have regular tests to check your baby’s health. These may include:
- Electronic fetal heart monitoring. This records your baby’s heart rate.
- Fetal ultrasound. This test is done to check on your baby, the placenta, and the amount of amniotic fluid.
- Doppler ultrasound. This checks how well the placenta is working.
If your doctor thinks you are at high risk for pre-eclampsia, you may have other tests, including:
- Blood tests to check for problems such as kidney damage.
- A creatinine clearance test to check your kidney function.
Whats Considered Low Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
Low blood pressure may occur during pregnancy, the systolic reading may drop by 5-10 mm Hg while the diastolic pressure may drop by about 10-15mm Hg. Actually, the readings may vary depending on the overall general health and your past medical history. The table below shows low blood pressure readings during pregnancy.
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Different Types Of High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy
There are 3 types of high blood pressure during pregnancy:
- Chronic hypertension: This is when you already had high blood pressure before you fell pregnant for example if you already had a medical condition such as kidney disease. Chronic hypertension also refers to when your high blood pressure is diagnosed in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Some women with chronic hypertension may develop pre-eclampsia when they are pregnant.
- Pregnancy-induced hypertension: This is high blood pressure that is diagnosed after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It is also called gestational hypertension.
- Pre-eclampsia: Pre-eclampsia is a serious condition that only occurs in pregnant women. As well as high blood pressure, it can also affect the kidneys, liver, blood and brain.
Why Does Blood Pressure Increase During Pregnancy
Pregnant women are at an increased risk of hypertension. According to the CDC and American Pregnancy Association, high blood pressure affects up to eight percent of pregnant women, and that number is increasing. There are different types of high blood pressure women may suffer from during pregnancy, including:
- Gestational Hypertension, which develops twenty weeks into pregnancy
- Chronic hypertension, or high blood pressure occurring before pregnancy or at the twenty-week mark
- Chronic hypertension and superimposed preeclampsia, which occurs in women with high blood pressure before their pregnancy
- Preeclampsia, which is a pregnancy complication caused by high blood pressure and signs of damage to an additional organ system
Because high blood pressure during pregnancy puts additional stress on your heart and kidneys, your risk of heart and kidney disease and stroke increases, other complications may occur as well, including preterm delivery, placental abruption, fetal growth restriction, and others. Therefore, it is vital to monitor your blood pressure levels closely during your pregnancy.;
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