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What are the Signs of High BP in Pregnancy & What Precautions Should Be Taken?

When a woman is pregnant and progresses in her pregnancy her blood volume increases as much as 45 percent. It is an extra amount of blood that the heart must pump throughout the body during pregnancy.

Tooba Maher

When a woman is pregnant and progresses in her pregnancy her blood volume increases as much as 45 percent. It is an extra amount of blood that the heart must pump throughout the body during pregnancy. 

So how will a pregnant woman know that she has a High BP or not? What are the precautions that must be taken when a woman is pregnant? Through this article we will provide you with all beneficial information.  

About 7 in 100 pregnant women will develop high blood pressure which can be dangerous to them and their baby. Normal blood pressure is usually somewhere close to 120/80 mm Hg. Whereas, BP greater than 140/90 mm Hg, or that is 15 degrees higher on the top number from where you started out before pregnancy, may be cause for concern. High BP in pregnancy in some cases is a serious condition that can lead to toxemia and pre-eclampsia. 

Signs of High BP in Pregnancy

1. Rapid Weight Gain

  • Weight gain of more than 2 pounds in a week is an indicator of high BP. Damaged blood vessels allow more water to leak into and stay in your body's tissue and not to pass through the kidneys to be excreted.

  • Do not try to lose weight during pregnancy. Take your doctor’s advice for following a healthy diet rich in potassium and magnesium.

2. Blurred Vision 

  • It is the most serious sign of high BP. They may be associated with central nervous system irritation or an indication of swelling of the brain.

  • Common vision changes include sensations of flashing lights, auras, light sensitivity, blurry vision or spots.

  • Contact your healthcare provider immediately or go directly to the hospital. If you are suffering from these symptoms.

3. Unusual Headaches 

  • Severe or migraine-like headaches that don’t go away gives an indication of high BP. Headaches may vary from dull to throbbing and even severe like that of migraine.

  • Consult your doctor dealing while dealing with such problems.

4. Nausea or Vomiting 

  • It is a concern after mid-pregnancy. It may be linked to pre-eclampsia. 

  • Consult your doctor and check your BP as it also gets confused with the flu or gallbladder problems.

  • You can also get your urine checked for proteinuria.

5. Shortness of Breath 

  • Shortness of breath, a racing pulse, mental confusion and anxiety can be signs of pre-eclampsia. 

  • But if these symptoms are new to you, they could indicate high BP or sometimes more rarely, fluid collecting in your lungs.

Other Signs of High BP in Pregnancy

  • Lower Back Pain

  • Stomach Area Pain

  • Shoulder Pain

  • Swelling in your hands and face

  • Spots or stars in front of your eyes

 Precautions to Be Taken 

  • All women with high BP in pregnancy should take an appointment with a doctor at the postnatal check, around 6 weeks after the baby is born.

  • If you are taking medication throughout pregnancy to control high BP then keep taking it during labor.

  • If you have moderate high BP, then your BP should be monitored hourly during labor.

  • Go for regular checkups to have your BP and urine tested.

  • Stay physically active.

  • Go to all your prenatal care checkups even if you are feeling fine.

  • Take medicine to control high BP as advised by doctor.

  • Eat healthy foods, less salt intake in your diet.

  • Avoid smoke, alcohols, junk food.

  • Notify your doctor immediately if you have repeated high blood pressure readings that are four hours apart, or symptoms of high blood pressure.

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