6 Ways to Lower Blood Pressure When Pregnant


You may consider high blood pressure as one of the major health issues to deal with as you get older. But, this is not only it. A lot of pregnant women also have to suffer from hypertension. However, according to research, pregnant women experiencing high blood pressure may face several complications such as the placenta may not get enough blood which might risk a lack of nutrients and oxygen to the fetus. Moreover, high blood pressure may also lead to slow growth of the baby and result in premature birth.

Thus, if you are diagnosed with hypertension in pregnancy, you should immediately find some ways to lower blood pressure when pregnant. Although there are a lot of high blood pressure medications to control hypertension; but, there’s a big no to these pills during pregnancy.

So, what can you do to lower blood pressure when pregnant? Here are some effective ways to reduce hypertension in pregnancy.

Yet, before getting into these methods, let’s discover what gestational hypertension is, its causes, and how to prevent it.

What is Gestational Hypertension?

High blood pressure during pregnancy is known as gestational hypertension. Approximately 6% of all pregnancies have it. Chronic hypertension, or high blood pressure that exists even before conception, is another form of high blood pressure.

This type of high blood pressure can proceed into preeclampsia. This syndrome frequently affects young women experiencing their first pregnancy. It occurs most frequently in twin pregnancies, in women over 35, in those who have chronic hypertension or who have previously experienced it, in Afro-American women, and in those who have diabetes.

When blood pressure in women readings are above 140/90 mm Hg who had normal blood pressure before 20 weeks and does not have proteinuria, gestational hypertension is identified.  However, when a pregnant woman has both elevated proteins in her urine and gestational hypertension, preeclampsia is identified.

Preeclampsia can become severe and fits may occur in Eclamptic women as a result of the illness. Hypertension arises typically during the end of the pregnancy and affects roughly one in every 1,600 pregnancies.

A side effect of severe eclampsia is HELLP (Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes, and Low Platelets) syndrome, in which women encounter some physical modifications such as red blood cell degeneration, liver abnormalities, low platelets, etc.

What Causes Hypertension in Pregnancy?

The cause of Gestational hypertension has not been discovered yet. However, it has been found that some conditions may elevate the risk factors for gestational hypertension which are written below:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney diseases
  • In the case of twins or triplets
  • Woman’s age during pregnancy (below 20 or above 40)
  • Previous gestational hypertension
  • Already existing high blood pressure
  • Afro-American race

Gestational Hypertension Symptoms

If you don’t know whether you’re experiencing high blood pressure during pregnancy, you should identify some signs and symptoms. Even though each woman may face different symptoms according to their body structure and pregnancy conditions. The most common gestational hypertension symptoms are listed below:

  • A reduced or excessive amount of protein in the urine
  • Elevated blood pressure levels
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Changes in liver or kidney functions
  • Pain around the stomach or upper right side of the abdomen
  • Blurred vision
  • Reduction in urination
  • Edema (swelling)

How to Diagnose Gestational Hypertension?

High blood pressure in pregnancy can be diagnosed by identifying the aforementioned symptoms. However, if you could not diagnose hypertension through these signs, you can take readings through blood pressure machines. However, you can diagnose gestational hypertension using the following ways:

  • Measuring blood pressure readings
  • Measuring weight
  • Testing liver and kidney functions
  • Doing urine test
  • Identifying edema
  • Testing blood clotting

How to Lower Blood Pressure When Pregnant?

Keep in mind to monitor your blood pressure frequently in order to spend a healthy pregnancy period. However, below are the six most effective and proven ways to lower blood pressure when pregnant.

1. Reduce the Sodium Amount

Although your body only needs a tiny quantity of sodium; thus, eating too much of it might cause hypertension. Try to replace sodium with other spices, such as cumin, fresh herbs, and lemon zest. In addition to rinsing processed food to remove any excess sodium, you should make an effort to stay away from packaged meals and junk food. Still, when purchasing processed goods, try to select low-sodium varieties.

2. Make Yourself Calm

One of the most helpful techniques to quickly lower blood pressure when pregnant is meditation. It relieves anxiety and maintains blood pressure while supplying blood to all the organs and tissues in your body. To perform this, lay on your back, put your hands under your ribs, inhale deeply through your nose, and exhale via your mouth. Breathe slowly while repeating this numerous times each day to maintain a healthy heart. Yoga, meditation, and breathing deeply are all excellent techniques to utilize both now and in the future, because they are so helpful during birth.

3. Keep Yourself Moving

Physically inactive women have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure. Consequently, it is crucial to establish a regular physical program that you can follow throughout your pregnancy. It will boost blood flow, lower blood pressure, and reduce anxiety levels besides having a good effect on your baby’s long-term health. Do your best to exercise for 30 minutes each day. Moreover, if you don’t typically exercise, you can engage in less strenuous activities like light walking.

4. Monitor your Weight Frequently

Getting overweight is a risk factor for gestational hypertension as well, so it’s important to keep track of your weight, control it, and avoid gaining too much weight during pregnancy. You can effectively control your weight by consuming a healthy diet and working out frequently. Preeclampsia, which puts you and your unborn child in danger, can also be brought on by high blood pressure and pregnancy weight gain.

Furthermore, being overweight increases your risk of developing medical disorders like acidity, GERD, joint inflammation, tiredness, gestational diabetes, and more. Consult your doctor about developing a plan to maintain your weight loss goals.

5. Eat Potassium-Rich Foods

Bananas are highly rich in potassium, but it doesn’t mean to remain on bananas for the whole pregnancy. The high potassium content of foods including sweet potatoes, prunes, raisins, kidney beans, tomatoes, and more can also help decrease blood pressure. Moreover, it has been demonstrated in studies that whole grains are packed with fiber to help lower blood pressure.

So, fill up on whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lentils and beans, and protein, such as meat. You may have a mixed veggie omelet for breakfast along with whole grain toast and a piece of fruit.

6. Avoid Alcohol and Smoking

It should go without mentioning that preventing alcohol and smoking while pregnant is vital for the well-being of both you and your unborn child. Additionally, drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco both raise blood pressure. So if you’re still smoking while pregnant, consult your doctor about creating a quitting strategy.

Risks you may Face with High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

If you experience hypertension during pregnancy, you may get through various risks in the future. Therefore, it is advised to take some steps to lower blood pressure when pregnant. Below are some risk factors:

a. Placenta Abruption

In this case, the placenta detaches from the uterus’ interior layer before birth. Placental abruption risk is increased by preeclampsia and hypertension. Excessive bleeding from a significant abruption can endanger your life and the life of your unborn child.

b. Reduced Blood Circulation to Placenta

The baby may receive fewer nutrients and oxygen if the placenta does not receive sufficient blood. Therefore, baby underweight, fetal growth constraint, and premature birth can result from this. Early births can result in consequences such as respiratory issues, a higher risk of infection, and more.

c. Damage to Several Organs

The brain, eyes, heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, and other important organs might suffer damage from moderate to severe high blood pressure. It may even be fatal in extreme circumstances.

d. Further Cardiovascular Diseases

Preeclampsia may make future heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) illnesses more likely. If you have experienced preeclampsia multiple times, you are more likely to develop cardiovascular problems in the future. Besides, if you give birth prematurely as a result of having high blood pressure when pregnant, it is increased.

Can I Take Hypertension Medicines During Pregnancy?

Certain blood pressure medicines are thought to be safe to take while pregnant. However, some others such as   Angiotensin II receptor blockers, renin inhibitors, and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors must not be taken when pregnant.

Your risk of having a stroke, cardiac arrest, and other serious problems rises when your blood pressure is elevated to some extent. Additionally, your baby’s elevated blood pressure may be harmful. Your doctor will recommend the most appropriate prescription and dosage if you are required to take medicine to regulate your blood pressure while pregnant. Follow the medicine instructions precisely. Don’t alter the dosage or quit consuming it on your own.

On the other hand, if you’re experiencing Preeclampsia at high risk, it is recommended to take a light dose of aspirin regularly. According to research, aspirin is the safest prescription to consume to lower blood pressure when pregnant.

Take Away

High Blood Pressure is pretty common during pregnancy which may lead women to further healthcare complications. Moreover, if gestational hypertension isn’t prevented or treated, it can become more severe and hazardous to your life.

You can often lower blood pressure when pregnant by analyzing its symptoms or taking readings through a blood pressure reading machine. Therefore, it is crucial to monitor your blood pressure frequently and take care of your health for a healthy pregnancy and easy delivery.

People Also Ask

  • Can Drinking lots of water helps lower blood pressure when pregnant?

Water intake is essential to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels balanced. However, during pregnancy, an extra requirement for kidneys in order to produce a great amount of water and provide oxygen to the placenta.

  1. What are the readings of high blood pressure during pregnancy?

If your systolic blood pressure is 140 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure is 90 mm Hg or above, it means you’re at risk of gestational hypertension. 

  1. Can I have safe delivery during high blood pressure?

As long as your blood pressure is normal, you’re able to give normal delivery. Yet, in the case of gestational hypertension or worse, it can lead to life-threatening complications that could result in brain bleeding, fits, or hemorrhagic stroke.

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