Pressure in pregnancy, what to do if it is too high or too low

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Pressure in pregnancy

La blood pressure it is one of those values ​​that are constantly monitored during pregnancy. This is because it is very important to diagnose any pregnancy hypertension in the right time in order not to run the risk of preeclampsia (or gestosis), complications and risks for childbirth. But what are the right values ​​of the pressure in pregnancy and when should we worry?

In this article

  • High pressure
  • Low pressure
  • When to measure it
  • What should be the pressure in pregnancy
  • When to worry?

High pressure

La high pressure, also called hypertension, it is very common during the pregnancy. The most important thing to do is to talk to your gynecologist about any blood pressure problems so you can get the right treatment and check your blood pressure right away before getting pregnant. Getting treatment for hypertension is important before, during and after pregnancy.

What are the complications of high blood pressure during pregnancy?

The ccomplications of hypertension for mother and baby they may include:

For the mother:

  • preeclampsia ed eclampsia,
  • stroke,
  • need for induction of labor,
  • detachment of the placenta.

For the child:

  • preterm labor and low birth weight

What to do if you have hypertension?

If you suffer from chronic hypertension, that is, you always have high blood pressure, even before getting pregnant, it is important to talk to your gynecologist, do not stop following the prescription of drugs provided by your doctor and monitor your blood pressure regularly.

If instead hypertension occurs during pregnancy is called gestational hypertension: it is usually diagnosed after twenty-second week of pregnancy or near birth. It is a disorder that disappears after delivery, although some women with gestational hypertension have a higher risk. Hypertension in pregnancy must be kept under control to prevent it from turning into a gestosis.

How to lower the pressure

Some blood pressure medications are considered safe to use during pregnancy, but angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, and renin inhibitors are generally avoided.

The doctor will prescribe the most suitable therapy, along with some practical measures that serve to lower the pressure as:

  • drink more than two liters of water a day, low in sodium;
  • reduce completely eliminate salt from the diet;
  • do not put on too many pounds and eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables and lean proteins;
  • do regular physical activity, agreed with your gynecologist;
  • avoid smoking and alcohol.

Low pressure

I changes occurring in your body during pregnancy can affect your blood pressure. The circulatory system expands rapidly and this can cause a drop in blood pressure. It is therefore quite normal for blood pressure to drop in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. The guidelines define low a pressure that is 90/60 mm Hg or less.

How to raise the blood pressure

The doctor will provide some indications to better manage the lowering of blood pressure, which can cause fainting, headache, dizziness, nausea. The advice to follow, in principle, are:

  • Avoid getting up quickly when sitting or lying down;
  • do not stand for long periods of time;
  • eating small and frequent meals throughout the day;
  • do not take very hot baths or showers;
  • drink a lot of water;
  • wear loose and comfortable clothes;
  • follow a healthy diet and take specific supplements prescribed by your doctor.

When to measure it

According to the guidelines, the blood pressure should be measured when you are at rest for at least 5 minutes, after at least 30 minutes away from a large meal, coffee and cigarette and from physical activity. You have to sit on a backrest with your arm resting at heart level.

Read also: Complications in late pregnancy

What should be the pressure in pregnancy

Let's see what the normal pressure values to keep under control:

According to experts, blood pressure in pregnancy should be about 120 maximum and 75 mmHg in the first and second trimester, and 85 mmHg in the last two to three months of pregnancy.

In general, however, here is an overview of the pressure values ​​to use as a reference.

  • High pressure: High blood pressure values ​​range from a maximum (systolic pressure) of 120 to 129mm Hg and a minimum (diastolic pressure) of less than 80 mm Hg.
  • Low pressure: values ​​of 90/60 mm Hg or less.

Also hypertension has several stages:

  • Stage 1 hypertension: values ​​between a maximum of 130 and 139 mm Hg and a minimum of 80 and 89 mm Hg.
  • Stage 2 hypertension: this is the most severe hypertension, with a maximum of 140 mm and a minimum of 90 mm Hg or higher.

It is considered gestational hypertension a blood pressure above 140/90 mm Hg, documented on two or more occasions, at least four hours apart, without any other organ damage.

La preeclampsia is diagnosed with high blood pressure and also:

  • Excess protein in the urine (proteinuria)
  • signs of kidney problems
  • Severe headaches
  • Vision changes, including temporary loss of vision, blurred vision or sensitivity to light
  • Abdominal pain, usually under the ribs on the right side
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Decreased urine production
  • Decrease in blood platelet levels (thrombocytopenia)
  • Shortness of breath, caused by fluid in the lungs
  • Sudden weight gain and swelling (edema), particularly of the face and hands.

When to worry?

Symptoms that may indicate preeclampsia, a condition that occurs when hypertension occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy and is associated with signs of damage to other organ systems, including the kidney, liver, blood or other organ systems, should never be underestimated. the brain. There preeclampsia left untreated can lead to serious, even fatal, complications for the mother and baby. Therefore, never underestimate symptoms such as:

  • persistent headache;
  • visual spots and changes in vision;
  • blurred vision;
  • nausea and vomit;
  • swelling of the face, feet or hands;
  • trouble breathing;
  • sudden weight gain.


  • Mayo Clinic
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