What is High Blood Pressure during Pregnancy?
Generally the term ‘blood pressure’ means the amount of force exerted by the blood against the walls of the arteries. And normally a person’s blood pressure is considered high when the readings are greater than 140 mm Hg systolic (the top number in the blood pressure reading) or 90 mm Hg diastolic (the bottom number). High blood pressure or hypertension is the same thing that signifies a state of great psychological stress. Usually blood pressure remains normal in pregnancy but if it gets high after 20 weeks, hypertension may cause complications in pregnancy and result in abortion or Preeclampsia (premature birth or stillbirth). In this article you will learn about controlling high blood pressure during pregnancy in detail.
Hypertension Symptoms and Signs during Pregnancy
To understand and determine the possible signs and symptoms of high blood pressure or hypertension in pregnancy, one must know the causes that are responsible for developing such serious psychological stress during pregnancy.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), has suggested possible causes of high blood pressure during pregnancy in the following;
- being overweight or obese
- failing to stay active
- drinking alcohol
- first-time pregnancy
- a family history of pregnancy-related hypertension
- carrying more than one child
- Pregnancy over the age of 40
- assistive technology (such as IVF)
Symptoms and Signs of High Blood Pressure during Pregnancy
During pregnancy, in case of high blood pressure, you may experience the following states to determine that your blood pressure is not normal;
- Severe headaches
- Vomiting blood (in severe cases)
- Excessive swelling of the feet and hands
- Smaller amounts of urine or no urine
- Blood in your urine
- Rapid heartbeat
- Excessive nausea
- Ringing or buzzing sound in ears
- Excessive vomiting
- Double vision and Blurred vision
- Sudden blindness
- Pain in the abdomen (lower side of stomach)
All these hypertension symptoms and signs would be varying from person to person, but they can easily be monitored for being so obvious and intense.
Effective Home Remedies for Controlling High Blood Pressure during Pregnancy
High blood pressure during pregnancy should be treated on serious note as it puts extra stress on your heart and kidneys, which in turn increase the risk of heart disease, kidney disease and strokes. Apart from these, other complications may develop i.e. fetal growth restriction, preterm delivery, placental abruption and cesarean delivery. Here we ranked the 15 Effective Home Remedies for high blood pressure during pregnancy:-
1. Monitor Your Medications during Pregnancy
The very simple but effective home remedy to control high blood pressure is, you must talk to your about all your medicines, which are being used during pregnancy. Do not take medicines without consulting your gynecologist as some medications can cause increases in blood pressure.
2. Stretch Your Legs Regularly
Hypertension or high blood pressure is usually developed in inactive women. So it is suggested that pregnant women should adapt some exercises which can be done on regular basis without making them tired. Walking can be considering the best possible solution to reduce high blood pressure during pregnancy. Walking being the best cardiovascular exercise for pregnant women can lower their blood pressure by enjoying a brisk walk of 30 to 45 minutes on a daily basis. Stretching your legs i.e. walking is safe activity to continue throughout all nine months of the pregnancy.
3. Have A Healthy Diet for reducing High Blood Pressure during Pregnancy
To reduce high blood pressure, it is so understood that pregnant women are supposed to eat healthy and they must eliminate fried foods during pregnancy. Foods highly concentrated in oil can cause oil to build up in your arteries. To narrows the path of blood flow, thus increasing your blood pressure. Balance the meal with fresh vegetables (i.e., fried chicken with a salad instead of French fries)
4. Deep Breath to control High Blood Pressure during Pregnancy
With an aim of reducing high blood pressure, pregnant women can try controlled breathing which is actually deep breathing- a popular relaxation technique that helps lower your stress levels and stabilize your blood pressure.
- How to breathe deeply to reduce blood pressure during pregnancy?
- Lay down or sit comfortably on a chair
- place your hands on the chest and below the rib cage to feel your diaphragm move
- Slowly inhale through your nose to breathe maximum oxygen
- Exhale through mouth by counting to 5 by keeping abdominal muscles tight
- Repeat the technique 10 minutes by keeping your breathing regular and slow.
A study of 2005 has suggested that hypertension or high blood pressure during pregnancy can be controlled by deep breathing as slow breathing improves arterial baroreflex sensitivity and reduces blood pressure.
5. Eat Potassium Rich Foods for controlling High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
To control blood pressure during pregnancy, increase your potassium intake by taking dietary supplements or eating foods rich in potassium. A recommended intake of potassium of about 2, ooomg maintains your fluid and electrolyte balance and it also aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, contraction of your muscles and the release of energy from carbohydrates, fat and protein. Following are some potassium rich food, which should be added in diet of pregnant women to reduce hypertension:
- sweet potatoes
- orange juice
- kidney beans
- Dried fruits like prunes and raisins.
6. Cut Your Salt Intake for Controlling High Blood Pressure during Pregnancy
Electrolytes & Blood Pressure has suggested, in a study, published in 2014 that a reduction of dietary salt intake can decrease the number of deaths from hypertension, cardiovascular disease and strokes. It should be understood that only a small amount of sodium to work properly, but excess salt will only increase your blood pressure and your risk for heart disease or a stroke. Pregnant women should not consume extra sodium intake during pregnancy to avoid hypertension. To reduce high blood pressure during pregnancy, avoid processed foods, fast food and sports drinks, which are high in sodium and eliminate canned foods as they are often high in sodium.
7. Quit Smoking to Reduce High Blood Pressure during Pregnancy
Pregnancy women should quit smoking without any second thought! Shockingly smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke increase the risk for the buildup of fatty substances (plaque) inside the arteries (atherosclerosis) — a process that high blood pressure is known to accelerate. It means, every time you smoke, you are bound to increase blood pressure. Smoking will only put danger to your baby or it may turn out premature birth or abortion in case of no serious withdrawal of smoking during pregnancy.
Note: You must consult your doctor before quitting smoking if you smoke on regular basis.
8. Do Not Forget to Monitor Weight for getting rid of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
According to American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the gestational weight gain is a risk factor for hypertensive disorders during pregnancy. Being overweight does not only make you susceptible to high blood pressure but it will also increase the risk of other health conditions during pregnancy, such as backaches, exhaustion, leg cramps, hemorrhoids, gestational diabetes, heartburn and aching joints. Eat healthy and if you are gaining excessive weight during pregnancy, control your diet and replace your cravings with healthy stuff to control high blood pressure during pregnancy.
9- Dark Chocolate to Control High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
High blood pressure can be reduced by consuming cocoa in meal plans. As dark chocolate and cocoa products are rich in chemical compounds called flavanols which help to reduce blood pressure, a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease (disorders of the heart and blood vessels). Moreover, flavanoids in cocoa stimulate the body’s production of nitric oxide, which boosts blood flow to heart, brain and other organs. To control high blood pressure during pregnancy, eat a half an ounce of dark chocolate that has at least 70% of cocoa per day (Do not consume over amount of dark chocolate as it will increase the calorie intake) or as an alternative five cups of hot cocoa per day might also work for pregnant women.
10. Take Extra Omega 3 Foods to fight with High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
According to a recent meta-analysis published in American Journal of Hypertension, Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA–found in fatty fish and fish oil supplements–reduce blood pressure very effectively. Basically Omega-3s foods i.e. cod liver oil, walnut tofu and cold fish support a healthy heart and brain. So balance your meals to add good amount of Omega-3 Foods intake if you are struggling to battle high blood pressure during pregnancy.
11. Low Fat Milk to Control High Blood Pressure during Pregnancy
During pregnancy, it is legal to pamper yourselves more than normal days! Consume maximum amount of milk and other dairy products for containing a trio of nutrients that may push down your blood pressure i.e. calcium, potassium and magnesium. Lactose intolerant women can try a milk alternative, such as almond, coconut, or hemp milk.
You can also try soy milk, but you must limit soy products during pregnancy as it may increase estrogen levels in your fetus. Apart from soy milk, avoid eating excess of cheese as it may contain high sodium content to control high blood pressure.
12. Good bye to Alcohol and Caffeinated Drinks to Control High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
Many studies support the fact that alcohol and caffeinated drinks raises placental blood flow and a risk of miscarriage. The motherhood demands nothing much, but you must understand that these bad lifestyle habits does not only risk your babies, but they damage you emotionally and financially. Consumption of alcohol will raise your blood pressure to put negative effects on your unborn baby. Change your lifestyle after conceiving a life inside you. You must consult your doctor too, to take a productive initiate of leaving alcohol to reduce high blood pressure during pregnancy.
13. Vitamin C is All What You Need during Pregnancy
Vitamin C is all time favorite things that a woman would need for healthy and glowing skin. But it is the right time eats more and more vitamin C during pregnancy to control high blood pressure during pregnancy. Some studies suggest that people who get lots of vitamin C in their diet may reduce their risk of developing high blood pressure. During pregnancy, drink the fresh juices (it’s loaded with other compounds that may reduce blood pressure) or eat the whole fruit for some extra fiber along with the vitamin C (oranges, lemons and all citrus fruits).
14. Get A Pet
You must have heard that people who have pets, they get less stress and it make them feel less depressed too. High blood pressure may develop due to stress and anxiety. To reduce hypertension, the first thing to do is lower your sudden stress and over thinking. According to a study, petting a dog and human-dog interactions are accompanied by lower blood pressure (BP) in the person than human conversation. If you don’t feel like talking to humans, during pregnancy and mood swings, think about getting a pet! You better not forget the vaccinations of your pet to avoid any infections.
15. Massage Can Do Magic for Controlling High Blood Pressure during Pregnancy
According to a study conducted by the London South Bank University in 2007, it is determined that a 20 minute facial massage could lower your systolic blood pressure.
Relax your limbs and let your muscles feel the love and care. Apart from relaxing your body, massage will satisfy your mind too to help you for controlling high blood pressure during pregnancy.