When you have high blood pressure in pregnancy, your blood pressure or arteries are high.
Blood pressure is recorded as follows: 140/85 mm Hg, called “140 over 85”. Blood pressure is expressed in millimeters of mercury, and the first systolic blood pressure number is arterial pressure per heartbeat. The second number is diastolic blood pressure, which is your arterial pressure when your heart rests between two beats.
Our blood pressure rises when we are anxious or stressed, just as we are in a hurry. For some people, seeing a doctor or midwife can be stressful. During pregnancy, make sure you have enough time to rest before the labor test and that your blood pressure does not exceed normal.
For example, if you have high blood pressure when you go to the clinic but everything is normal when your midwife examines you, you have a problem called “white hat syndrome” or “white hat blood pressure.” This means high blood pressure due to stress to see a doctor and hospital, etc.
Cause of high blood pressure in pregnancy:
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), there are several reasons for high blood pressure during pregnancy. These reasons include:
- Weight gain or obesity
- lack of movement
- Drinking alcohol
- First pregnancy
- Family history of high blood pressure during pregnancy
- Pregnancy of more than one child
- Age over 40 years in pregnancy
Symptoms of high blood pressure in pregnancy:
Many women who have high blood pressure in pregnancy have no symptoms, so it is recommended that you check your blood pressure regularly with your doctor or midwife during pregnancy. Urine testing is also essential in diagnosing preeclampsia from urinary protein.
However, it would help if you were very careful about several symptoms because they can be preeclampsia symptoms. If you have any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor or midwife right away to check your blood pressure and urine for protein. These symptoms include:
- Severe headache that does not go away
- Vision problems, such as blurred vision or seeing bright spots in front of the eyes
- Abdominal or stomach pain. Preeclamptic pain usually appears in the upper abdomen, just below the ribs, especially on the right side.
- Late vomiting in pregnancy (does not mean early morning nausea)
- Sudden swelling or puffiness of the arms, legs, or face
- You can not feel the movement of your fetus much
- Feeling bored
Note: Swelling of the legs, arms, and face is familiar in normal pregnancies, and this does not mean that you have preeclampsia, but you should know that these symptoms are more severe in preeclampsia. Therefore, if your hands, face, or feet become swollen, see a doctor or midwife immediately.
Risk factors for high blood pressure in pregnancy:
An unhealthy lifestyle can cause high blood pressure in this era. Overweight or obesity and inactivity are the leading causes of high blood pressure.
Women who experience their first pregnancy are more likely to have high blood pressure. Fortunately, this condition is less common in subsequent pregnancies.
Women who are pregnant with several babies at the same time are more prone to high blood pressure because they also have more anxiety and stress.
Another risk factor is gestational age. Pregnant women over the age of 40 are at higher risk than others.
According to information published by Reproductive Medicine, the use of assistive technologies for pregnancy, such as IVF, can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure during pregnancy.
Types of pregnancy-related hypertension:
Chronic blood pressure
Sometimes women have high blood pressure before pregnancy; this may be known as chronic high blood pressure and is usually treated with high blood pressure medication. Doctors also consider high blood pressure, which may occur in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, to be chronic.
Pregnancy-related blood pressure
Pregnancy-dependent hypertension occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy. This type of blood pressure usually improves after delivery, and the most common complication of this type of blood pressure is the false sense of premature birth.
Chronic hypertension with preeclampsia
This is another type of chronic hypertension in which pregnant women have high blood pressure before pregnancy. Other complications are added during pregnancy (such as protein excretion in the urine).
Blood pressure measurement in pregnancy:
Measured blood pressure is written as a fraction: systolic blood pressure to diastolic blood pressure.
The high number indicates systolic blood pressure, which means the heart vessels’ pressure due to the heart muscle contraction to pump blood.
The low number indicates the blood pressure inside the heart during the resting period of the heart.
What does normal blood pressure mean during pregnancy?
To determine normal blood pressure, your doctor will use your blood pressure as your first appointment’s basal blood pressure level. The doctor will then measure your blood pressure at the next meeting.
Normal blood pressure is usually around 120/80 mmHg.
What does high blood pressure mean in pregnancy?
If your blood pressure is more than 140/90 mm Hg, or if your blood pressure is more than 15 mm Hg, it means that your blood pressure is higher than your pre-pregnancy measurement.
From the beginning of pregnancy (usually from the fifth week) to the end of the second trimester of pregnancy, we may see a decrease in blood pressure in pregnant women because pregnancy hormones can dilate blood vessels, reducing blood resistance vessels to blood flow. Becomes.
What does low blood pressure mean during pregnancy?
There is no specific numerical definition for lowering blood pressure, but the symptoms of low blood pressure during pregnancy are:
- Cold skin
Changes in blood pressure in pregnancy:
During pregnancy, a pregnant woman’s blood pressure may drop or rise and return to normal. The causes of this phenomenon are:
The increased blood volume in pregnant women: According to research, blood volume in pregnant women increases by up to 45%. This extra blood must be pumped by the heart to the whole body.
The left ventricle (the part of the heart that makes up most of the blood pump) becomes thicker and larger: An enlarged left ventricle is a temporary change to increase the heart’s ability to pump excess blood throughout the body.
During pregnancy, the kidneys secrete more vasopressin. This hormone increases the volume of water in the body.
In most cases, blood pressure improves during postpartum pregnancy. In cases where high blood pressure does not return to normal, doctors use medication to return blood pressure to normal.
Tips for measuring blood pressure in pregnancy:
There are many ways to measure blood pressure. Some of these methods are listed below:
Get a blood pressure monitor from a pharmacy. These devices are fastened on your wrist or arm. To ensure the measurement’s accuracy, take this device with you to the doctor’s office to compare the controlled information with his information.
To determine your daily blood pressure more accurately, measure your blood pressure at a specific time. To do this, you must sit with your legs straight and do not bend. Usually, use one hand to measure pressure.
Tell your doctor if you have high blood pressure at 4-hour intervals or experience any high blood pressure symptoms.
Complications of high blood pressure in pregnancy:
If high blood pressure persists for 20 consecutive weeks during pregnancy, various complications such as preeclampsia may occur.
It is a rule that the higher your blood pressure, the greater the risk to you and your baby.
Mild to moderate blood pressure:
If your blood pressure stays mild to moderate and you do not develop preeclampsia, there is little risk. Most women who have high blood pressure have mild to moderate high blood pressure. However, your blood pressure and urine must be checked regularly during pregnancy so that preeclampsia symptoms can be diagnosed quickly.
What is preeclampsia?
Conditions that cause severe damage to parts of the body such as the kidneys and brain, preeclampsia is also known as a type of blood poisoning. Preeclampsia that is accompanied by seizures is called eclampsia.
Complete prenatal care, such as regular doctor appointments, can make it easier to diagnose preeclampsia symptoms. Symptoms of preeclampsia include:
- Presence of protein in a urine sample
- Abnormal swelling in the hands and feet
- Persistent headache
Dangers that threaten you as a mother:
- Increased risk of stroke
- Kidney and liver damage
- Increased risk of blood clots
- Increased risk of severe bleeding from the placenta
- There is a possibility of seizures if preeclampsia occurs
Your child’s hazards include the following:
- Increased likelihood of poor growth
- Increase the risk of preterm birth
- Increased risk of fetal death and stillbirth
Problems with high blood pressure in pregnancy:
High blood pressure puts you and your baby at greater risk:
- Premature delivery means the delivery of the heart from the thirty-seventh week of pregnancy
- Need for cesarean section
- Fetal development problems
- Sudden rupture of the placenta
- Preeclampsia and eclampsia
Low blood pressure can also be a problem in pregnancy. A 2012 study found that low blood pressure occurs in women who had similar issues before pregnancy. According to the study, women with low blood pressure who continue to be pregnant are more likely to experience nausea, vomiting, vaginal bleeding, and anemia.
HELLP means hemolysis, increased liver enzymes, and low platelet count. This syndrome is a severe and dangerous disease that can be one of the complications of preeclampsia.
Symptoms of HELLP syndrome include nausea, vomiting, headache, and upper abdominal pain. Because this syndrome is an emergency and dangerous condition and can disrupt vital organs, initial measures must be taken for the patient if a pregnant woman has the disease.
Prevention of high blood pressure in pregnancy:
With proper exercise and diet, you can control the factors that usually affect high blood pressure, such as obesity and high blood pressure history. Although weight gain during pregnancy is unavoidable, it is still recommended that pregnant women consult their doctor about the appropriate amount of weight gain that will not harm their health.
Nutrition tips for pregnant women vary from person to person. To do this, you should consult a nutritionist to pay attention to height and weight when adjusting your diet.
During this era and physical and psychological changes in the body, the person also suffers from hormonal changes that cause stress, making it more challenging to control these people’s blood pressure. For this reason, pregnant women should use stress-reduction techniques such as yoga and meditation.
Treatment of hypertension in pregnancy:
Some traditional methods of treating high blood pressure can cause problems in pregnant women. According to the information obtained, the following drugs for the treatment of hypertension during pregnancy are prohibited.
- ACE inhibitors (angiotensin-converting enzyme)
- Angiotensin receptor blocking drugs
These drugs typically reach the fetus’s body through the bloodstream and can have devastating effects on the fetus’s health. These drugs can also thin the blood and reduce the mother’s ability to carry a baby.
Methyldopa and labetalol are both drugs that can control high blood pressure and are safe.
Ultrasound during pregnancy helps the doctor to have a healthy fetus and expected growth. Medications are also prescribed based on the type and severity of high blood pressure. For example, people with low blood pressure may not need a prescription, but their doctor will ask them to be careful when getting up to avoid falling in more severe cases:
- Drink more fluids, especially water
- Use medical compression stockings
- Eat more salt
- Stand less
- Rest while standing