New Health Guide
High blood pressure or hypertension in pregnancy is diagnosed if the systolic pressure is ≥ 140 mm Hg and the diastolic blood pressure is ≥ 90 mm Hg on two separate blood pressure measurements taken 4 hours apart. High blood pressure pregnancy is a significant contributor to most of the complications and can be life threatening to both the mother and the baby. It can be controlled and managed by making lifestyle changes and with the help of medications.
Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy
There are certain factors that can increase your risk of developing hypertension during pregnancy. These are:
- If you have a family history of hypertension
- If you are diabetic
- If you are overweight or obese
- If you already suffer from hypertension before pregnancy
- If you are below 20 or over 40 years when you get pregnant
- If you are having multiple babies
- If this is your first pregnancy
- If you smoke or drink alcohol
- If you have resorted to techniques such as IVF (in vitro fertilization) to get pregnant
Types of Hypertension that Can Develop During Pregnancy
During your pregnancy you may be diagnosed with any of the following hypertensive disorders:
1. Chronic Hypertension
You are considered to have chronic hypertension:
- In case you are already suffering from hypertension before you got pregnant
- If you are diagnosed with hypertension within 20 weeks of your pregnancy
- If your hypertension does not disappear by the time your reach your 12 week post-partum check up period
Chronic hypertension has been reported to complicate 5% of all pregnancies. The chances of developing chronic hypertension are higher if you delay child bearing. You are considered to have milder form of chronic hypertension if your systolic pressure is up to 179 mm Hg and your diastolic pressure is 109 mm Hg. However, if your systolic pressure is ≥ 180 mm Hg and diastolic pressure is ≥ 110 mm Hg you are suffering from a severe form of chronic hypertension.
Preeclampsia develops when the blood supply to the placenta is not normal because of lack of tolerance of the maternal immune system to the fetus.
Mild preeclampsia occurs in 6% of pregnancies and severe preeclampsia occurs in 1-2% of pregnancies.
You are diagnosed with preeclampsia if you have hypertension or high blood pressure pregnancy and presence of protein in urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The other symptoms of preeclampsia include:
- Severe headache
- Problems with vision
- Fluid retention leading to swelling of hands, feet, face and ankles
- Abdominal pain
- Reduced urination
Although rare, in pregnant women preeclampsia can cause serious complications such as stroke, seizures, water retention in the lungs, heart failure and bleeding in the liver. In preeclampsia, there is reduced blood reaching the fetus, resulting in premature births and associated complications such as learning disabilities, epilepsy and vision and hearing problems.
3. Preeclampsia with Chronic Hypertension
In this condition, preeclampsia develops in pregnant women who have already been diagnosed with chronic hypertension before their pregnancy. After pregnancy their hypertension aggravates, leading to presence of protein in urine and other complications of preeclampsia.
4. Gestational Hypertension
You are considered to have gestational hypertension or pregnancy induced hypertension if you are diagnosed with hypertension after 20 weeks of your pregnancy.
You are diagnosed:
- If you have had normal blood pressure before your pregnancy but had developed high blood pressure after 20 weeks of pregnancy (systolic pressure ≥ 140 mm Hg and diastolic pressure ≥ 90 mm Hg)
- If there is absence of protein in your urine
- If you do not show any of the symptoms associated with preeclampsia
It has been reported that 50% of women who are diagnosed with gestational hypertension develop preeclampsia. If you are diagnosed with gestational hypertension you will be carefully monitored throughout your pregnancy for hypertension related complications.
What are the Complications with High Blood Pressure Pregnancy?
- Decreased placental blood flow
Decreased blood flow to the placenta leads to decreased supply of nutrients and oxygen to the fetus. This results in slow growth (intrauterine growth restriction), decreased birth weight and premature birth.
Elevated blood pressure can cause damage to kidneys, liver, heart, lungs and brain which can be life threatening.
Hypertension can result in premature delivery of the baby to prevent the hypertension related complications from worsening and to prevent further damage.
If you have had preeclampsia during pregnancy then the risk of suffering from heart diseases in the future is increased.
It is a condition where the placenta separates from the inner wall of the uterus causing excessive bleeding. Preeclampsia increases the risk of placental abruption which is a serious life threatening complication for both the mother and the baby.
How to Manage High Blood Pressure
1. Eat Healthy
- Eat healthy and balanced meals to help maintain normal blood pressure levels during your pregnancy.
- Consume lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid fried foods, fast foods and processed foods.
- Add at least 6-8 servings of whole grains to your diet. There are reports that whole grains in your diet will help reduce your elevated blood pressure levels.
- Avoid tea, coffee and other caffeinated drinks as they can increase your blood pressure. Consume fat free or low fat dairy products as they have been shown to reduce elevated systolic blood pressure. However, avoid cheese as it may increase your sodium intake.
You are more prone to suffer from hypertension if you are following an inactive life style. You should start exercising from the time you decide to get pregnant. You should continue exercising throughout your pregnancy after consulting your doctor.
3. Carefully Monitor Your Weight
If you are overweight or obese you have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure pregnancy. During your pregnancy make sure your weight gain is within the recommended limits. Also ensure that you do not gain weight too fast. Eat healthy foods and exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight. Regularly monitor your weight.
4. Reduce Stress
Reduce your stress levels during your pregnancy. Reduce your work load to reduce work related stress. Try meditation, yoga and breathing exercises to relax.
5. Monitor Your Salt Intake
The daily recommended salt intake is 2400 mg. However, restricting your intake to 1500 mg can help decrease your blood pressure. Avoid foods such as processed foods, fast foods and certain sports drinks that are high in sodium.
6. Avoid Alcohol and Smoking
If you smoke or drink alcohol you have a higher risk of developing hypertension. Smoking and drinking alcohol can also harm your baby.
7. Increase Your Potassium Intake
Increase your potassium intake by consuming foods rich in potassium such as bananas, orange juice, avocados, cantaloupe and chicken. Consuming 2000 mg of potassium from dietary supplements will help control your hypertension.
8. Follow Medical Instructions
Your doctor may recommend medications or life style changes to control your hypertension. Follow the instructions of your doctor carefully. Do not skip appointments with your doctor or skip medications.
Now you know all about high blood pressure pregnancy.
Yoga Tips To Control Your Blood Pressure
Yoga provides relaxation to the mind as well as the body. It frees the body from the excessive tension and undue pressure on the body.
Yoga Poses for High Blood Pressure
Yoga is also good for the heart as it lets the supplies proper oxygen to various organs of the body. Oxygen flows in the body via the blood and it regulates the pressure of the blood too. Yoga helps in better management of lifestyle and frees the mind of the negative thoughts. It increases positive thinking and provides relief to the body mentally and physically.
Yoga relieves the body from hypertension and these postures which help to control the blood pressure are easy to learn and practice. Easy pose helps to rejuvenate the body and free oneself from the various negative thoughts clouding the human mind. It also increases the concentration and helps the body relax in a comfortable position.
Other Yoga postures like shoulder stretches and forward bend relieves the stress near the shoulders as well as the back region. Certain stretches provides appropriate exercise to the muscles so that they can relax and be free from pain in various parts of the body. It also rejuvenates the body by proper supply of oxygen to various organs of the body.
Alternate nostril breathing helps to clear the nasal tracts and increases the breathing ability. This also helps to have clear thinking and become free from all the negativity covering the mind. It also helps to meditate and think keenly on any topic. It reduces the anxiety which is the chief reason of the abnormality in the pressure of the blood.
Other important reason for the blood pressure is indigestion and gastritis in the stomach. Yoga helps in digestion and helps in healthy functioning of the digestive system. The wind relieving pose provides comfort by elimination of excess gas in the body.
Blood pressure during pregnancy needs to be checked
It can make all the difference for you and your baby.
Your blood pressure needs to be well controlled to ensure both mum and baby are healthy.
Blood pressure is the pressure made by the blood circulating around the body.
It needs to be within a healthy range of 90-119 over 60-79, especially during pregnancy.
Below that, you could suffer from hypotension which causes dizziness, fainting and makes you go into shock.
Above that it could lead to hypertension which puts you at risk from stroke, heart attacks and kidney failure.
It is important to keep an eye on your blood pressure during pregnancy.
In pregnancy it can be a sign of pre eclampsia which is a potentially dangerous condition.
Symptoms are headache, spots before your eyes and a pain in your side under the ribcage.
It is important as a diabetic to keep an eye on your blood pressure and attend all your antenatal appointments as they also look for protein in your urine.
Ways to keep your blood pressure down.
Take regular exercise.
Reduce your salt intake. (don’t add salt to your food.)
Relax. Try yoga or meditation to relax and calm yourself.
Eat a healthy diet and cut out down on junk food.
It is important to look after yourself as a pregnant diabetic.
Always do your best to relax and avoid stressful situations.
Don’t be afraid to say no to doing extra things that are inconvenient to you.
Your health and baby comes first.
At work speak to your boss about your workload. If you can handle it, fine, but if it is too much for you, don’t be afraid to speak up.
Hopefully he/she will be understanding. If not go higher until the problem is resolved.
Ask friends and family members for help as well if need be.
If they are not supportive cut down on the amount of time you spend with them as it will only increase your stress.
Have regular checks with your doctor as well and make sure you get a say in everything. Also don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Knowing what is going to happen later on may well help with any fears you may have.
This should make sure that your blood pressure is under control.
How to Naturally Lower Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
According to the American Pregnancy Association, high blood pressure affects about 6 to 8% of pregnant women. If your blood pressure exceeds 140 mm Hg systolic (the top number) or 90 mm Hg diastolic (the lower number) you suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension. Some risks factors for pregnancy-related hypertension include being overweight, having hypertension before pregnancy, pregnant with multiples, having a chronic illness, and/or poor diet (high salt and high fat diets). Because hypertension can lead to complications (low weight babies, kidney problems, premature birth, and preeclampsia) you should take steps to reduce high blood pressure during pregnancy. 
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Lowering Blood Pressure with Lifestyle Choices Edit
Http://www. newhealthguide. org/high-blood-pressure-pregnancy. html
Http://www. yogawiz. com/yoga-tips/yoga-for-blood-pressure. html
Http://www. liveahealthylifewithdiabetes. com/Blood-pressure-during-pregnancy. html
Http://www. wikihow. com/Naturally-Lower-Blood-Pressure-During-Pregnancy