Is Your Blood Pressure in Pregnancy Too High or Low?
If you are expecting, it is important to be aware of your blood pressure in pregnancy. During each prenatal visit, your doctor will take a blood pressure reading to make sure it is in a healthy range. A healthy blood pressure in pregnancy is considered to be less than 120 systolic over 80 diastolic, or 120/80 mm Hg.
Both low blood pressure and high blood pressure have serious consequences for pregnant women. When there is high blood pressure during pregnancy, this can cause serious damage to the baby that is developing in the uterus. If high blood pressure causes a decreased blood flow to the placenta it can be detrimental towards the development of the baby. Furthermore, other side effects include premature birth or slow growth.
If you have concerns about your blood pressure, it could help you to wear a home monitor such as the Health Gauge Phoenix smartwatch.
Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure (hypotension) is defined as blood pressure below 90 systolic over 60 systolic, or 90/60 mm Hg.
Having low blood pressure during pregnancy is common in the first 24 weeks of gestation. It could simply be your body’s response to pumping more blood to support the growth of your baby. Beginning in early pregnancy, certain hormone levels rise and progesterone in particular can relax the walls of your blood vessels, leading to low blood pressure as your body increases blood flow to you and your baby.
Though low blood pressure on its own may not be cause for alarm, if you are experiencing associated symptoms of low blood pressure, it is a good idea to give your obstetrician a call. Some associated symptoms of low blood pressure to look out for include: dizziness, dehydration, loss of concentration, cold clammy skin, rapid shallow breathing, and fainting.
What does low BP mean for your pregnancy?
Low blood pressure that coexists with symptoms (like dizziness, fainting, and loss of concentration) is a serious matter, especially if an individual is pregnant. Blood pressure that is too low, can cause the developing baby to not have enough nutrients or blood for it to grow. This can result in poor pregnancy outcomes, including premature birth, and stillbirth. In addition to the risks posed to the baby, low blood pressure poses risks to the pregnant woman as well.
An expectant mother with low blood pressure could have fatigue, shortness of breath and dizziness that could cause them to faint. Fainting in pregnancy could cause internal bleeding which could have irreversible and detrimental consequences towards the growth of the baby.
Pregnancy is a very important part of a woman’s life and it is important to take into consideration the drastic effects that low or high blood pressure could have on the baby. By monitoring the prenatal blood pressure, low blood pressure readings can be detected early-on so that the mother can be offered treatment to help normalize blood pressure. In many cases, healthy lifestyle adjustments may be enough to help normalize blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (hypertension) is defined as blood pressure above 140 systolic over 90 systolic, or 140/90 mm Hg.
If you have high blood pressure in pregnancy, this can cause serious problems and complications that can, in some cases, be irreversible. There are a number conditions related to high blood pressure that can arise before, during, and after pregnancy. This makes it necessary to monitor blood pressure, throughout pregnancy and in the postpartum period afterwards.
High BP Before Pregnancy
Individuals with high blood pressure prior to becoming pregnant may have a condition called chronic hypertension. A woman who has high blood pressure prior to becoming pregnant is at an increased risk of developing other conditions during pregnancy, including preeclampsia.
If you are trying to conceive and have high blood pressure, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe you some medicine that is safe to take during pregnancy. Otherwise, they may recommend some simply lifestyle changes that can help you get your BP in check. To help lower your BP naturally, aim for at least 150 minutes of exercise every week. Eating nutritious meals, limiting salt intake, and drinking plenty of water can also help regulate your blood pressure naturally.
High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy
Gestational hypertension is defined as having high blood pressure in pregnancy, with the absence of protein in the urine and other heart or kidney problems. It is typically diagnosed after the 20th week of gestation or closer to delivery. Most cases of gestational hypertension go away after the birth of the baby, though it does increase a person’s risk for developing hypertension in the future
Preeclampsia in Pregnancy
High blood pressure during pregnancy puts you at risk for developing a condition called preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a condition that can occur after 20 weeks of pregnancy, in women who have persistent high blood pressure. The condition preeclampsia is characterized by protein in the urine, low blood platelets, kidney or liver problems, or vision problems.
Preeclampsia increases your risk of placental abruption, a life-threatening condition in which the placenta separates from the uterus. This can result in excessive bleeding that is harmful to both the mother and the baby.
If left untreated, preeclampsia can be fatal for both the mother and for the developing baby as well. To ensure a healthy delivery for a mother with preeclampsia, early induction is generally recommended. Early induction will help to limit any risk of harm to the baby.
What does elevated BP mean for your pregnancy?
High blood pressure is considered to be a critical problem during pregnancy. Along with the condition preeclampsia, there can also be a decreased blood flow to the placenta (the thick-walled structure which filters nutrients for the baby). This can induce premature birth, breathing conflicts, and other various complications for the baby. It also raises the lifetime risk of the mother or baby developing cardiovascular disease.
With proper treatment, your care team can help ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy and birth of your baby.
Blood Pressure in Pregnancy
Blood pressure is a very important aspect of pregnancy. Both low band high blood pressure can pose a risk to yourself and your baby. To help protect yourself naturally, it is wise to engage in healthy activities, which can help to naturally regulate blood pressure.
Try these healthy habits to normalize your blood pressure:
- Drinking plenty of water
- Eating healthy
- Engaging in light exercise (like walking)
- Getting enough sleep
- Making time to relax and de-stress.
Complications can arise from abnormal blood pressure that are harmful to not only you, but to your developing baby too. To help save both lives, you can use home BP monitoring, and treatment to help.
Tracking your Blood Pressure at Home
When you are pregnant, your health matters more than ever. And Health Gauge is here to help make it as healthy a pregnancy as possible.
Using the Health Gauge Phoenix, it is easy to monitor blood pressure in pregnancy. Simply wear the watch and check your BP once a day. Log into the app and track other health metrics, like sleep, stress, exercise, heart rate and more. With Health Gauge it is easy to track your health throughout your pregnancy.