Low Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

Low Blood Pressure During Pregnancy


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Low Blood Pressure in Pregnancy

Let’s find out why low blood pressure is dangerous for pregnant women and what to do if you have it.

Normal Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

It is important to check blood pressure regularly during pregnancy: it can tell you about your condition and the pregnancy itself. If the blood pressure raises higher than 140/90 or lower that 100/60, it’s time to consult a doctor.

Many people think that low blood pressure guarantees long life, because the heart “wears out” less. Surely, the high blood pressure is definitely more dangerous and so the hypotension isn’t usually viewed as something serious.

Indeed, it doesn’t cause much discomfort in real life. But if you are pregnant, low blood pressure can cause you much more discomfort, unpleasant sensations and inconveniences.

Why Low Blood Pressure During Pregnancy is Dangerous?

The hypotension not only worsens your health, but also affects blood circulation: as a result, both mother’s and baby’s vital organs (the heart and the brain) suffer from lack of oxygen. It can also disrupt uterine blood supply, as a result causing various disorders in child’s development along with complications during childbirth.

When the blood flow in the placenta (the main organ providing the baby with oxygen and nutrients) disrupts, a placental insufficiency may appear. The fetus starts to lack things that are necessary for his normal development and growth, to starve and to suffocate.

In this case the miscarriage in late pregnancy can be the worst case scenario. If the hypotension isn’t cured, it can cause preeclampsia: serious complication, leading to disorder of organ’s and body system’s functions.

Moreover, if the blood pressure lowers during pregnancy, it can cause collapse that would be fatal to the baby. The baby also can die from a hit (if its mother will fall while suffering from strong vertigo).

Blood pressure of a pregnant woman often lowers at night. It happens especially often when she’s sleeping on her back: the fetus presses on vena cava with all of its weight and so the blood supply of the heart worsens.

How Low to Recognize Low Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

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It is long known that low blood pressure during pregnancy worsens the “charms” of toxicosis: woman, suffering from low blood pressure, has strong retching that leads to dehydration and to even greater lowering of a blood pressure. The tonometer is the easiest and the most accurate way to find out whether you have low blood pressure or not.

You also should be alerted if you experience the following symptoms, accompanying the hypotension:

  • weakness and fatigue;
  • reduced efficiency;
  • drowsiness and tiredness that have no obvious reasons;
  • ringing in the earth;
  • shortness of breath during walks and physical exercises;
  • dizziness and headaches.

What Causes Low Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

Blood pressure during pregnancy can lower because of the whole number of reasons, for example:

  • stress;
  • body’s reaction to hormonal changes;
  • cardiovascular system diseases;
  • various infections;
  • severe blood loss;
  • dehydration;
  • inactive, passive lifestyle.

Body’s constitution matters too: young women with a lean physique are the ones who have hypotension more often.

How to Raise Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

Let’s agree on one thing: it is unacceptable to practice self-medication during pregnancy. It’s bad for pregnant women to take traditional meds for hypotension: they raise the blood pressure by narrowing the blood vessels and in this case the baby doesn’t receive enough blood and nutrients. Some of these meds (that are absolutely harmless for non-pregnant women) can cause malformations of the baby. That’s why you have to consult your doctor before you take any meds.

If your blood pressure lowers during pregnancy, you can normalize it by yourself, without taking any meds. Fortunately, there are a lots of ways to do so: by following very simple recommendations you’ll be able to stabilize your blood pressure.

  1. Do not jump out of bed immediately after you wake up: an abrupt jump from horizontal to vertical state can cause dizziness and nausea attack. It’s better to stay in bed for a few minutes, to stretch slowly. It’s also good to try sleeping on a high pillow.
  2. Keep some light snacks (fruits, crackers or bread) on the bedside table. Eat something before you get out of bed – this also can help you to feel better in the morning.
  3. If low blood pressure during pregnancy is making you sick, try to lie down and raise your legs (but do not simply keep them in the air: lean on a wall or on the back of the sofa). This can help you: the autotranfusion will make the blood move from the legs to upper side of the body, providing the brain with oxygen. This is also a good way to prevent varicose veins.
  4. Compression (or massage) stockings are another device that helps normalizing blood pressure during pregnancy and preventing varicose veins.
  5. Moderate physical exercises also can help: activities like fitball exercises, dancing, swimming and jogging stimulate vascular and muscle tone.
  6. Take a contrast shower (but remember – last water jet has to be cool).

How Food Helps to Normalize Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

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Correct nutrition can help you to ease your condition significantly. Even if you feel sick, you still have to eat often and in small portions, because hunger intensifies hypotension and nausea. What you should eat? Crackers, fruit juices and the fruits themselves – everything that your body doesn’t reject.

Ordinary salt (well, better iodine than ordinary) can help you too. If you eat it, you’ll get thirsty and will have to drink a lot of water. When you drink more, the amount of blood circulating in the body increases. Doctors recommend to eat up to 9 grams of salt a day if you have low blood pressure (ordinary people are recommended to eat 6 grams of salt a day).

You also have to eat proteins. Salted broth would be a perfect dish for women suffering from low blood pressure during pregnancy. But avoid putting too much salt into it, because it can cause edema.

Eat celery (better fresh than in the soups). Strawberries are also very good: they not only stabilize blood pressure, but also raise hemoglobin. Eating strawberries is a great way to raise blood pressure during pregnancy.

Should you avoid drinking coffee if you have low blood pressure during pregnancy? Coffee is considered one of the traditional drinks for hypotensive ones and many people claim that they “cannot live without it”. You can drink it during pregnancy, but only from time to time, if the coffee isn’t strong and you add milk. It’s better to think of coffee during pregnancy as of some kind of medicine and to drink only when blood pressure lowers.

Video: What can I do to help my low blood pressure while pregnant?

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