Low Blood Pressure During Pregnancy – Is It a Dangerous Sign?

Most of the pregnant mothers begin to realize a small drop in the BP earlier than others. However, in almost all circumstances, the lowest time of your blood pressure should be in your first trimester and the middle of your second trimester. In general, it may not lead to your potentially adverse outcome, yet severe cases can be somehow dangerous for your baby and yourself.

What Should You Know About Low Blood Pressure During Pregnancy?

The top figure of our blood pressure reaching from 120 along with the bottom figure ranging about 80 is considered average in one healthy individual. So, you may have the low blood pressure in the case either one of these readings is a bit less than the normal number. In pregnant women, their systolic readings may drop from 5 to 10 mmHg, and their diastolic pressure may reduce from 10 to 15 mmHg. As a matter of fact, these above readings can vary according to your overall health and medical history.

Can Low Blood Pressure Be a Sign of Pregnancy?

Although this symptom occurs in many pregnant women, low blood pressure cannot be a pregnancy sign as it is usually asymptomatic in their first trimester.

How Will Be the Change of Blood Pressure in Pregnancy?

It is indeed normal for any little change of the blood pressure during pregnancy. In fact, your hormone progesterone may relax all walls of the blood vessels. By this way, it may make the blood pressure drop during the second trimester and first trimester. Sometimes you may feel faint after getting up so quickly or standing for a long time with the lower blood pressure.

Many pregnant women witness their blood pressure reduce to the lowest level in their mid-pregnancy. Then, they start rising gradually from the 24th week of your pregnancy. At this time, your body has to make the extra liter of blood, so your heart needs to pump firmly around the body. If everything is well, the blood pressure may return to the initial level before your pregnancy. Such increase may happen in some weeks before giving birth of your baby.

How Can Your Blood Pressure Be Measured?

Your doctor or midwife usually use one small monitor in order to record and measure the blood pressure for each of your antenatal check-ups. He or she may ask a pregnant woman to sit and remove all tight clothing around her arm before measuring the blood pressure. Then your midwife will wrap one cuff around the arm above the elbow then, pump the air into that cuff.

As a result, it inflates and stops the flow in your primary blood vessel briefly in the arm. You may feel tight, yet it does not hurt at all. After that, the air from such cuff is released slowly. Because of its attachment to a monitor, it may calculate the blood pressure as well as show your reading to the midwife.

Why Should Your Blood Pressure Be Measured?

You may be aware that measuring blood pressure can be a good way to tell how the pregnancy is at the moment. Your midwife or doctor will watch for any sign of the potentially dangerous complication named pre-eclampsia, especially later in your pregnancy. This disease is thought to happen at the time the placenta does not work properly. Such situation may lead to several serious problems like high blood pressure.

To have an exact result, the midwife or doctor will test the urine in addition to taking the blood pressure. As a matter of fact, the high reading of blood pressure and protein in the urine are both common pre-eclampsia signs. Also, having either gestational or pre-existing hypertension means you can likely develop this symptom.  And you can develop the pre-eclampsia and gestational hypertension without realizing. Feeling well is not a good indicator of a healthy body for pregnant women. You should go to the antenatal appointment to ask your midwife to check the urine and blood pressure regularly.

Keep in mind to query the doctor of the primary symptoms which need to be watched out. If you feel odd or unwell without any apparent reason, contact him or her immediately. Occasionally, the symptoms of pre-eclampsia may develop fast, so you should manage to get the medical help as soon as possible.

What Causes Low Blood Pressure in Pregnancy?

It is common to suffer a small drop in the blood pressure while being pregnant. Many women do not realize that this process can have the adverse effect on their blood pressure.

Hormonal changes

This symptom occurs due the circulation expands widely during pregnancy. So, hormonal changes may cause your blood vessels be able to dilate, resulting in the low blood pressure. Your blood pressure will fall in your early pregnancy, dropping to its lowest in its middle period, around your second trimester. Many clinicians define low blood pressure by the reading which gives someone the described symptoms below, not by the standard measurement.

Rapid expansion of your blood volume

When the blood volume expands rapidly to supply enough nutrients and oxygen to the baby, it dilates your blood vessels, making the low blood pressure. It is considered the most popular reason of hypotension appeared in pregnancy. Besides, other potential causes comprise of carrying twins, a low blood pressure history or having several underlying issues of health, such as dehydration, endocrine, anemia problems and heart disorders. Other risk elements like vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency or staying on the prolonged rest may be responsible. Lastly, epidural administration usually leads to the sudden drop directly in your blood pressure while working.

Other causes

The extent made low blood pressure while pregnancy is variable. Some of them might be the effects of other diseases. However, in almost all pregnant women, their systolic pressure may drop from 5 to 15 mmHg. These lowered blood pressures often last during your pregnancy and may return to the original levels later. In the case, your reading drops rapidly along with some bad signs, come to the doctor as soon as possible.

What are its symptoms and signs?

Not surprisingly, pregnant women can experience several symptoms and signs of low blood pressure during pregnancy. Such symptoms are quite similar to that of ordinary people. Most commonly, its signs include fainting and dizziness. The lightheadedness may be worse of you rise from the reclining position or stand up unexpectedly. Some of the common symptoms can be listed as follows:

  • Fatigue and weakness and
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness (especially when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting).
  • Clammy, pale, and cold skin
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Headache
  • Higher heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Excessive thirst

The low blood pressure which may occur with the pregnancy typically will not cause any symptom of the severe hypotension along with shock. For patients with profound blood reduction or sepsis, the extremely low blood pressure may result in the organ damage like stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure.

Will Your Blood Pressure Increase After Giving Birth?

In the case you suffered the low blood pressure when being at the 20th weeks forward, it will return to the normal level after you give birth. But this reduction can take several weeks. Keep in mind to check the blood pressure at least one time within 6 hours of the infant’s birth. After such period, if you suffer gestational hypertension, the midwife may check it the minimum of over the following days.

If the blood pressure is still high, you should take appropriate medications to control for several months after having a baby. This way will help you to stay on its safe side. Do not worry in the case you want to breastfeed. Lots of medications dedicated for low blood pressure are indeed safe to use while breastfeeding. When the midwife discharges you, you should make an appointment with your doctor to review your blood pressure as well as make necessary changes to all prescribed dose of the medication.

Preventing Low Blood Pressure in Pregnancy With Four Simple Tips

During your prenatal checkup, your doctor may diagnose and check your blood pressure for all abnormalities. The two most popular exams are blood and ultrasound test. Of which, Blood Tests will Help you to determine the possibilities of blood disorders like diabetes, anemia, or high blood sugar. Also, it also ensures whether your baby is healthy or not. Ultrasound Tests may allow the doctor to discover all irregularities of the heart’s functioning and structure. After taking additional tests to detect all exact causes of low blood pressure, you may need medication. Other following ways contribute to preventing this symptom as well.

  • Taking the folic acid and prenatal vitamin supplements daily.
  • Including ample salt amounts in the diet as the excessive intake can lead to high blood pressure or affect your fetus.
  • Following a balanced and healthy diet.
  • Drinking enough fluids.

How to Deal With Low Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

Pregnant women can experience dizziness because of low blood pressure. However, your blood pressure can go up during your third trimester and become normal right after childbirth in most of the cases. So, you may not require any treatment for this symptoms. Otherwise, trying health measures and certain dietary at home is a good step for you to promote safety and minimize all serious symptoms. Here are several tips for increasing your blood pressure levels.

  • Avoiding all strenuous exercise sessions which make your blood pressure drop lower.
  • Lying on the left side because it let your blood flow increase toward your heart.
  • Avoiding alcohol and caffeine during pregnancy, especially in the evening and at night.
  • Do not move rapidly and suddenly, such as standing up.
  • Wearing the compression or support stockings which let the additional pressure offered by the fitting elastic toward legs. They also help you to increase your blood pressure and stimulate your blood circulation. Remember to consult the physician to figure out whether they are accurately suitable for yourself.
  • Avoiding standing during an extended period. This way will assist you to prevent the low blood pressure because of the miscommunication between your heart and brain.
  • Eating small meals during the day to avoid the low blood pressure or postprandial hypotension after eating.
  • Avoiding lying directly on the back, especially from your 16th week forward as it makes your uterus press right on your major blood vessels of your body. By this way, it decreases your blood flow gradually to various tissues and organs
  • Lying down or sitting still a little bit after eating
  • You should not use medications and Drugs unless you realize significant threats or serious symptoms of complications dedicated for the baby or mother.

When Should You Call Your Doctor?

You should pay attention to following symptoms because they can indicate serious problems if occurring with the low blood pressure.

  • Numbness on one of your body sides
  • Fainting feeling which worsens as time passes
  • Abnormal pulse rate (extremely high)
  • Severe headache
  • Bleeding
  • Excessive vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Breath shortness
  • Chest pain

Low Blood Pressure and Possible Complications of Pregnancy

Low blood pressure can increase the potential risks of primary damage in organs of the mother. In some cases, this disease may be associated directly with the complications, such as ectopic pregnancy. Pregnant women may access the emergency care in the case she experiences fainting or dizziness with some of above serious symptoms, particularly on each side of your body.

Conclusion

There is no adequate research in term of the possible effects of low blood pressure during pregnancy on your baby. However, some studies state that it will increase the potential risks of learning difficulties for the child, low birth weight, and fetal death because of the inadequate blood flow. Even though your midwife may check the blood pressure whenever having an antenatal appointment, ensure the blood pressure be always at the healthy level. It is considered an important task of caring for your baby and you during pregnancy. Also, it is important to meet your doctor if dizziness is associated directly with some troubling symptoms or worsens suddenly.

Annie
 

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