Planning a pregnancy or already pregnant? It’s important to think about your blood pressure even if you’ve never had high blood pressure. About half of pregnancy problems, including having a premature baby, are caused by high blood pressure.
Pregnancy complications also increase your chance of heart disease in the future. Many pregnancy-related problems can be avoided, though. When you first become pregnant, your blood pressure may be less than 120/80 mm Hg, but you could still have a specific type of high blood pressure. the pressure that starts to build up during or right after pregnancy.
One effect is gestational hypertension, which is defined as a blood pressure of 140/90 mm Hg or greater. After 20 weeks of pregnancy or around the time of delivery, it typically occurs. After 20 weeks of pregnancy, preeclampsia, a distinct condition, causes high blood pressure combined with other signs that your organs aren’t functioning properly, like high protein levels in your urine. Eclampsia is a severe condition that can lead to unconsciousness or potentially fatal seizures. Here are seven methods to help shield you and your unborn child from complications caused by high blood pressure.
1. Speak with your healthcare professional.
Knowing if you have high blood pressure might assist determine if you’re at a higher risk for pregnancy-related issues even if you’re not yet expecting a child. Create a plan for a safe pregnancy with the help of your doctor. This discussion also covers:
What your ideal blood pressure range should be.
How to manage or reduce high blood pressure by leading a healthy lifestyle, which includes being physically active, picking meals that are good for your heart and are low in salt and sodium, and quitting smoking.
drugs you are now taking. Find out if it’s safe to continue taking your current blood pressure medication during pregnancy if you already take it.
history of health in your family. If preeclampsia runs in your family, your doctor may advise you to exercise additional caution.
How other personal characteristics, such as age, place of residence, race, or availability of medical treatment, may influence your risk for issues associated with pregnancy.
2. Pay close attention to your blood pressure.
In most cases, elevated blood pressure is imperceptible. Your doctor will take your blood pressure at each visit as part of your routine prenatal care. If it’s high, they might advise you to purchase a home monitor. If you require one, ask a staff member at your provider’s office to check that you are using it appropriately and that it is operating properly. then maintain a record of your figures. Additionally, inquire with your doctor about the best time to contact you if your numbers rise.
3. Recognize the preeclampsia symptoms.
Preeclampsia may not initially manifest any symptoms. You might, however, experience a few minor symptoms, such as:
- Having facial or hand swelling
- rapid weight gain over a few days
- Each week, more than two pounds are added.
- less frequent urination than usual
Usually, preeclampsia develops after the 20th week of pregnancy. It can also emerge after delivery, typically within 48 hours. The best course of action is to call your provider as soon as you notice any symptoms or strange feelings. Call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room if you notice any of the severe preeclampsia symptoms listed below:
- not going gone or getting a worse headache
- difficulty breathing
- soreness under the ribs, in the right shoulder, or on the side.
- nausea and diarrhea
- Vision alters
4. Ask friends and family for assistance.
If you experience any problems while you are pregnant, tell your family and friends. Request their assistance in keeping an eye on your health and in getting your medical attention. These buddies can ensure that you fully express your symptoms and ask your questions when speaking with a healthcare professional. Additionally, they can serve as your advocates to make sure you get the medical attention you need.
5. Work on stress management.
Stress will cause your blood pressure to rise. Learn how to trigger your body’s relaxation response (the opposite of the stress response). Progressive muscle relaxation, guided visualization, and deep breathing techniques can all help you relax. Getting more exercise is good for your heart in general and might make you feel more at ease psychologically and physically. Try yoga or take a brief stroll with friends. Being in nature can be immensely calming for some people.
6. Maintain your health after delivery.
Maintaining your self-care practices is important for your heart health after giving birth. You must give your heart particular attention if you had preeclampsia. Informing your healthcare providers about the specifics of your pregnancy difficulties is one of the best things you can do. Tell them what happened and the care you got. You could require a cardiovascular screening three months after giving birth and then once a year. Your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and weight will all be checked as part of the test.
Keep in mind that you are familiar with your physique. Early detection and management of cardiovascular disease risks can dramatically lower the likelihood of suffering a heart attack or stroke later in life. If your blood pressure increases or if something doesn’t feel right, let your healthcare professional know.