Your midwife will inspect your blood pressure at every antenatal appointment. Making sure your blood pressure is at a healthy level is an important part of caring for you and your baby during pregnancy.
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What Is Normal Blood Pressure During Pregnancy?
It’s completely typical for your blood pressure to change a little during pregnancy. The hormone progesterone relaxes the walls of your capillary. This might make your blood pressure fall during your first trimester and second trimester. You might find you feel faint if you represent too long or get up quickly with lower blood pressure.
Your blood pressure is at its lowest in mid-pregnancy and begins to increase slowly once again from 24 weeks pregnant. By this time, you’ll have made an additional liter (two and a half pints) of blood, which your heart needs to pump around your body.
If all is well, your blood pressure will return to its pre-pregnancy levels in the last few weeks before your baby is born.
How is my blood pressure measured?
Your midwife will use a small monitor to measure and tape-record your blood pressure at every antenatal check-up.
Prior to your midwife measures your blood pressure, she’ll ask you to take a seat and get rid of any tight clothing from your arm. Then she will wrap a cuff around your arm above your elbow and pump air into it.
The cuff pumps up and briefly stops the blood flow in the primary blood vessel in your arm. It will feel tight, but it should not harm. Then, the air in the cuff is slowly released. The cuff is connected to the display, which calculates your blood pressure and shows a reading to your midwife.
The reading will show two figures that resemble a fraction, for example, 110/70. The first, or top, number informs your midwife about your blood pressure as your heart presses the blood round your body (systolic blood pressure). The 2nd, or bottom, number is your blood pressure when your heart unwinds in between beats (diastolic).
What’s normal for you might be various from other mums-to-be, so it’s best not to compare results. The average blood pressure variety if you’re healthy is between 110/70 and 120/80, although this differs a lot in pregnancy.
As soon as she has your numbers, your midwife will tell you if they are high. Your midwife will detect high blood pressure if:
- Your blood pressure shows a reading of 140/90 or higher for two readings, four hours apart.
- Your blood pressure shows a one-off reading of the bottom number (diastolic) of 110 or more. The diastolic reading is more crucial in providing details about your health. So if this figure alone is high, it suffices to mean you have high blood pressure.
During an antenatal appointment, if your midwife discovers you have high blood pressure, she will ask you to have additional tests at medical facility. You may be at the medical facility for several hours while your blood pressure is kept an eye on hourly over three or four hours.
High blood pressure has different names, depending on what stage in your pregnancy you develop it:
- Before you’re 20 weeks pregnant, if you have hypertension, it is called chronic hypertension or pre-existing hypertension. This means you most likely had high blood pressure before you became pregnant. You’ll only understand for sure if this holds true if your blood pressure stays high after your baby is born.
- After 20 weeks, hypertension is called gestational hypertension. This is the name for hypertension that establishes just during pregnancy.
- Gestational hypertension isn’t generally a problem, although you will be described medical facility for expert care.
Why is my blood pressure determined?
Measuring your blood pressure is a method of informing how well your pregnancy is going. Your midwife will be looking for signs of a possibly major problem called pre-eclampsia, particularly later in your pregnancy.
Pre-eclampsia isn’t totally comprehended, but it’s thought it to happen when the placenta is not working along with it should. This can lead to high blood pressure and other problems. Your midwife will test your urine in addition to taking your blood pressure. Protein in your urine and high blood pressure are both signs of pre-eclampsia.
Having either pre-existing hypertension or gestational hypertension does suggest you are more likely to establish pre-eclampsia. Although it does not indicate you will absolutely get it. However the earlier gestational hypertension sets in, the greater your chance of establishing pre-eclampsia.
You might develop gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia without realizing it. In reality, you might feel perfectly well. That’s why it’s important to go to all your antenatal appointments so your midwife can routinely examine your blood pressure and urine.
You might also ask your midwife to describe to you the symptoms to look out for. And if you feel weak or odd for no obvious reason in between antenatal consultations, contact your midwife or doctor. Occasionally, pre-eclampsia can develop fast and it’s essential to get medical help quickly.
Will my blood pressure decrease after the birth?
If you established hypertension after 20 weeks it will probably return to normal after your baby is born. However this can take a few weeks.
Your blood pressure will be checked a minimum of as soon as within six hours of your baby’s birth. After that, if you had gestational hypertension, your midwife will examine it a minimum of twice more over the coming days.
If your blood pressure stays high, you might have to take medication to manage it for a few months after you’ve had your baby. This is just to be on the safe side. Do not worry if you mean to breastfeed. There are lots of medications for hypertension that are safe to take while breastfeeding.
When your midwife has discharged you, a GP consultation need to be made so that he can review the blood pressure and make changes to the dosage of medication recommended.
If you had pre-existing hypertension, you may continue to require medication. This is due to the fact that your blood pressure is not likely to decrease after you’ve had your baby.