Read on for helpful tips for maintaining stable blood pressure during pregnancy.
Blood pressure should be measured during each check-up at the gynecologist, from the very beginning of pregnancy …
The “cuff” squeezes the upper arm as the hand climbs, then lowers and stops at values that show the level of blood pressure. This is a common analysis, one of many that a future mother must undergo in order to carry a pregnancy without any problems. Nothing less can really be done to keep pressure values and its changes within normal limits.
It is not true that pregnancy itself causes lower or higher blood pressure than usual. However, there is an inherited tendency towards these changes, which can be manifested in certain living conditions and due to various causes – stress, diet or hormonal disorders. Pregnancy is certainly one of the more dangerous periods, even when the pregnant woman is not aware of the mentioned tendency.
Here is why blood pressure should be measured during every check-up at the gynecologist, from the very beginning of pregnancy, especially if there are signs that indicate a disorder.
Too low blood pressure
If the blood pressure is too low, the pregnant woman feels dizzy and even faint, which is a consequence of poor blood flow to the brain, especially after a sudden change in body position (eg when getting up) or ambient temperature (eg when entering an air-conditioned room during summer heat). or an overheated room during the winter). Regardless of the discomfort that the mother feels, lower blood pressure has basically no effect on the child.
The treatment is very simple: you should not get up abruptly from a sitting or lying position. In the morning, after waking up, lie on your left side for a short time, and lay your head on a pillow. Also, long-term leaving of the body “without fuel” should be avoided. If you went to work before pregnancy after just a quick cup of coffee, this habit should now be discarded: a complete or sufficiently plentiful breakfast should not be skipped.
High blood pressure
High blood pressure is more insidious, because it usually does not give any signs that would warn a pregnant woman to go to the doctor, and it manifests itself only when it has already progressed and when it is accompanied by swelling of the legs, hands and uterine contractions.
The only way to detect it in a timely manner are constant controls: high blood pressure must not be ignored, but it should be treated immediately, either with a diet or medication. Otherwise, the pregnant woman may suffer damage to the liver, kidneys or, as the pregnancy approaches the third trimester, a disease such as gestosis. The child is in danger of slowing down the growth, because he does not receive enough nutrients and oxygen through the placenta, which is poorly circulated due to the disturbed blood pressure.
Sometimes it is caused by heat
Sudden spikes in blood pressure are not necessarily caused by the mother’s hereditary predisposition. Sometimes they do not follow the whole pregnancy, but can manifest due to fear, fatigue or heat.
During the summer, many women become more sensitive to elevated temperatures, primarily due to the action of hormones. One of the effects of progesterone is to raise body temperature. To this should be added increased body weight, which requires higher energy consumption for each movement and increased blood flow on the surface of the body.
Therefore, during the warm period of the year, pregnant women are advised to be especially careful: they should avoid long-term standing, excessive physical fatigue, as well as attending gatherings with many people where the ventilation of the space is poor.
If a pregnant woman suffers from high blood pressure, diet is very important. First of all, the intake of salt should be reduced, which is most responsible for water retention in the body, and thus for increasing the blood pressure. Also, animal fats (salami, butter, fermented cheeses), sweets, fried foods are prohibited.
But, you should eat as many fruits, vegetables, fresh low-fat cheeses, fish (preferably grilled or baked in the oven), cereals, pasta and rice seasoned in the Mediterranean way – with vegetable oil, preferably olive. Fluids should be drunk about two liters a day, and water and fresh juices.