Pregnant women pay a lot of attention to the high blood pressure during pregnancy – they are more worried about it for some reason.
Of course, high blood pressure conceals more risks, but low blood pressure during pregnancy also shouldn’t be taken lightly: a future mother doesn’t feel well, and the traditional methods of raising blood pressure – strong tea or coffee – during pregnancy can do more harm than good.
Let’s figure out together why low blood pressure during pregnancy is dangerous and how to cope with it.
What’s the normal blood pressure if you’re pregnant?
You should measure your blood pressure regularly while you are pregnant – the figures will tell a lot about your state of health and the course of pregnancy. If it’s increased higher than 140/90 or has become lower than 100/60, it’s time to consult a doctor.
There is a widespread opinion that low blood pressure is a guarantee of a long life because the heart doesn’t “wear out” fast. It’s true, high blood pressure is far more dangerous – in comparison, low blood pressure is not a severe health problem.
In fact, low blood pressure doesn’t affect your everyday life much. However, low blood pressure during pregnancy brings quite a lot of unpleasant sensations and discomfort.
The risks of low blood pressure during pregnancy
Besides common discomfort, low blood pressure during pregnancy causes slow blood circulation and the internal organs of the future mother and the fetus lack oxygen. The low blood supply to the uterus is directly related to various fetal development problems as well as complications during the delivery.
In the case of poor blood circulation in the placenta, which is the main source of oxygen and nutrients for the baby, placental insufficiency can occur. The fetus lacks substances, necessary for its normal growth and development, and begins to starve and suffocate.
The worst possible scenario in such a situation is a miscarriage in later pregnancy stages. If low blood pressure during pregnancy remains untreated, then by the end of the pregnancy it can cause gestosis – a severe pregnancy complication resulting in the dysfunction of the pregnant woman’s internal organs.
Moreover, low blood pressure during pregnancy can induce a collapse, fatal for the baby. Another possible danger lies in low blood pressure causing dizziness during pregnancy: the baby can die if the mother faints, and hits her belly too hard after falling down.
Quite often the expectant mother has low blood pressure at night. It happens when the woman is sleeping on her back and the fetus cuts off the blood circulation, pressing down on the vena cava. Such a situation negatively affects the future mother’s heart.
The signs and symptoms of low blood pressure while pregnant
It’s an ascertained fact that low blood pressure during pregnancy makes morning sickness worse. The woman is retching, and, as a result, her body becomes dehydrated. And dehydration, in its turn, is a straight road to even lower blood pressure.
The surest way of diagnosing low blood pressure during pregnancy is measuring it regularly with the help of a tonometer.
You should also be worried after noticing these signs:
- Weakness, fatigability;
- Low productivity in everyday tasks;
- Sleepiness without any reason for it;
- Ringing in the ears;
- The shortness of breath after walking;
- Increased heart rate;
- Headaches and dizziness.
The causes of low blood pressure in pregnant women
You can experience low blood pressure during pregnancy because of the following reasons:
- A strong reaction to the hormonal changes;
- Heart diseases;
- Various infections;
- Severe blood loss;
- Severe dehydration;
- Sedentary lifestyle.
The body constitution is also an important factor: low blood pressure most often occurs in slightly built women.
How to increase blood pressure?
First of all, you should understand that self-medicating is strictly forbidden. The drugs usually prescribed for low blood pressure treatment have contraindications and shouldn’t be taken during pregnancy. They increase blood pressure due to narrowing blood vessels, and that means your baby won’t get enough nutrients and oxygen. Some of such drugs, which are perfectly safe for non-pregnant women, can cause congenital malformations of the baby. Thus, you’d better take any medications after discussing your problems with an expert.
If you have low blood pressure during pregnancy you can try to bring it back to normal without taking medications. There are a few ways that can help:
- Don’t get out of bed immediately after waking up. The sudden change in position of your body can cause dizziness and nausea. It’s better to lie in bed for a couple of minutes, stretching slowly. You may also try to sleep on a high pillow.
- Put some snacks on your bedside table – crackers, dried fruit, or crispbread. Eat something before getting up. It’ll make you feel much better.
- If you feel nauseous because of low blood pressure during pregnancy, lie down and prop your feet up on a cushion. It’s an effective means of help – the blood will rush to your upper body and add oxygen to your brain. It’s also a good preventive measure against varicose veins.
- Wear compression hosiery.
- You need to engage in moderate physical activity: exercises for pregnant women will help.
- Take a contrast shower, end it with cool water.
Treating low blood pressure during pregnancy with a diet
A healthy pregnancy diet can make your health condition considerably better. Even if you feel sick you have to eat.
Eat often, but in small portions – the hunger augments nausea and low blood pressure during pregnancy. Which products should you eat? Fruit and fruit juices, crackers – your body won’t reject this food.
It can seem strange, but salt will help. The increased consumption of salt will make you thirsty, and the more you drink the more blood circulates in your body. Health professionals recommend that people whose blood pressure is low take 5 dr. of salt per day (the norm for an average person is 3 dr.).
You also need more proteins. A superfood for women experiencing low blood pressure during pregnancy is salted meat broth. However, don’t put too much salt in your food because it can lead to swelling during pregnancy.
Eat fresh celery and wild strawberries – they will not only normalize low blood pressure during pregnancy but also increase hemoglobin level.
And what about coffee? Of course, it’s an efficient method of raising low blood pressure, and some people literally “live on coffee”. But you are allowed to drink it only from time to time during pregnancy. Add milk to the beverage, and think of it as of medication – drink it only when you have low blood pressure during pregnancy.