As a happily married father of two, I have been privileged to observe and partake in the joyous event of pregnancy twice in my lifetime. Although this experience was filled with a lot of twist and turns, happy time and nerve racking times, in the end, at the birth of that beautiful baby, you look back and realize that it was all worth it. During the nerve racking times, a mother may be faced with so many complications, however, the one I will be focusing on here is Blood Pressure during Pregnancy, as it is a serious problem faced by many women.
Types of Blood Pressure Problems during Pregnancy
During pregnancy, women have a huge task to carry out, and that is to carry a baby for 9 months after which they have to bring this baby into this world. During this time, women go through a lot of changes that may cause them to have problems with their blood pressure. These pressure problems may be categorized into two parts:
- High Blood Pressure
- Low Blood Pressure
These two categories are both serious problems and must be monitored when detected to prevent them developing into something worst.
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High blood pressure is becoming an increasing trend in pregnant women, and although there are times when it may not be considered as a serious matter, depending on the level of the blood pressure, there are times when high blood pressure (Hypertension) can become detrimental to the mother as well as the fetus. There are many factors that can cause hypertension in pregnant women, such as being anxious, stress, being overweight, first time pregnancy, pregnancy hormones, not being active and even having hypertension before pregnancy, just to name a few.
There are a number a factors to consider when dealing with blood pressure issues during pregnancy. Some of these issues are:
Chronic Hypertension: This is considered to when a woman develops high blood pressure during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy or when a woman I diagnosed with hypertension before being pregnant. This is usually treated with medication.
Gestational Hypertension: This is hypertension that develops after 20 weeks of being pregnant. This type of hypertension may cause induced labor and tends to go away after the delivery of the baby. This may also develop into preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia: This is when a woman has high blood pressure along with the possibility of protein in their urine during and after pregnancy. This may also be accompanied by kidney and liver problems which may also cause low clotting factors. This may also be combined with Chronic Hypertension. There is a more serious type of Preeclampsia called Eclampsia. This condition occurs during pregnancy, rarely after and the high blood pressure may cause seizures.
High Blood Pressure during pregnancy may be considered as blood pressure that is higher than 140/90 mm Hg
Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)
Low Blood Pressure or Hypotension, is common as during pregnancy, and most times it will not cause any complication during pregnancy. There are instances however where low blood pressure can become dangerous for the mother and the child. My wife experienced low blood pressure when she was pregnant with our first child. As a result, we had some nerve racking moments, however, after the delivery, her pressure went back to normal.
Low Blood Pressure is caused by your circulatory system expanding rapidly as a result of carrying a baby which causes the blood pressure to drop.
A few factors that can contribute to low blood pressure are Anemia, Prolonged bed rest and dehydration. Low Blood Pressure is any pressure reading that is below 90/60mm Hg.
Low Blood Pressure can lead to complications such as fainting, damage to organs or even shock.
How to deal with High and Low Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
Low blood pressure is the easiest of the two to deal with and usually does not require any medication to deal with unless it is extremely low. A few of the ways to deal with low blood pressure is to eat small meals throughout the day, not to stand on your feet for long periods, and to drink more water.
High Blood Pressure on the other hand may require you to take medication to control the blood pressure. Dietary suggestions may also be considered when dealing with hypertension during pregnancy. A few of the dietary options include foods with low salt and sodium content, potassium in the form of bananas, beans and potatoes, lean meat such a chicken, pork, fish and Lamb for more needed protein, green leafy vegetable along with fresh, frozen foods instead of processed foods are all recommended. Staying active is also recommended and will help to reduce hypertension.
Keep on top of your Blood Pressure
In the end, in order to detect whether you are developing high or low blood pressure during your pregnancy, it is important to check your pressure regularly. Investing in a blood pressure monitor will be very good to monitor your blood pressure from home. Also, keeping active, eating right and if you are on medication, taking your medication will help to keep you from reaching to the point where you have complications during pregnancy.
I must stress though that the key thing to getting a handle on your pressure during your pregnancy and even after pregnancy is knowing where your blood pressure is, as this determines the steps that would have to be taken to get a handle on your pressure.
Please feel free to leave a comment, feedback or suggestion on this article and Let’s share thoughts, experiences and opinions on this topic so we can help those who are affected by this issue.