Low blood pressure during pregnancy: Should you be worried?

Husband checking his pregnant wife’s blood pressure using a machine.

Hypotension or low blood pressure is often a commonly occurring phenomenon in pregnant women, however, it becomes a cause for concern only when it fluctuates unnaturally. Typically, you do not need a structured treatment for low blood pressure but in certain scenarios, very low BP can be devastating for the baby and mommy both!

How pregnancy affects blood pressure

Your body goes through different changes during pregnancy. These changes can have a serious effect on your blood pressure. Due to an expansion in the circulatory system in your body, the blood pressure drops which is often considered normal. It’s natural to notice a drop in your BP specifically during the initial 24 weeks of pregnancy.

What is LOW blood pressure during pregnancy?

A normal blood pressure reading, according to the standard guidelines is 120 mm Hg systolic (top number) and 80 mm Hg diastolic (bottom number). It is typically determined that your BP is low when the numbers are 90/60 or less. This is often a red flag for pregnant women and seeking medical advice becomes of utmost importance. If your BP drops to 90/60 or less – contact your physician.

The hazards of low blood pressure during pregnancy

If your blood pressure is on the lower end during pregnancy, it typically isn’t a cause for concern. However, if your body is reacting through symptoms such as dizziness or episodes of fainting, it may be hinting at a more serious (even life-threatening) problem. Severely low blood pressure during pregnancy may result in falls (causing serious harm to the baby), organ failure, and shock. Low blood pressure is also a hint at ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when a fertilised egg implants outside the uterus.

Symptoms of low blood pressure

  • Blurred vision and lightheadedness
  • Chest pains, breathing problems, increased pulse rate, and vomiting
  • Recurring episodes of fainting and extreme dizziness
  • Extreme thirst
  • Difficulty in focusing
  • Pale or clammy skin
  • Shallow or rapid breathing

Diagnosis and treatment of low blood pressure during pregnancy

If you have low BP, your doctor can easily diagnose it with the help of a machine, or you can purchase one for self check-ups at home! If the problem persists, your doctor may advise further tests to rule out serious medical conditions.

Woman checking her blood pressure using a machine.

How to handle low blood pressure during pregnancy?

There’s no specific treatment for low BP, however, these self-care tips will go a long way in ensuring your safety:

  • Relax! Take the time you need to wake up in the morning before starting your day. An ideal situation would be drinking a cup of warm tea in bed.
  • Avoid standing up too fast when you’re sitting or lying down.
  • A well-balanced diet is super important when you’re pregnant. Make sure you consume small meals throughout the day.
  • Avoid bathing with extremely hot water.
  • Increase your fluid intake by a lot. This also helps treat symptoms of morning sickness and vomiting. Seriously, double or even triple how much water/juice you drink every day.
  • Wear loose clothes during the entire pregnancy.
  • Drink salt and lemon water immediately if you feel like there’s a drop in your blood pressure.

You do not need to overthink about the whole phenomenon. Low blood pressure during pregnancy is very common. Only when you feel like there are symptoms manifesting, seek medical advice.

Let me know if you guys know of any other natural tips to deal with low blood pressure in the comments below!

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