Home Articles Articles Signs & Symptoms of Hypertension Define low blood pressure (hypotension) and its significance in pregnancy

Define low blood pressure (hypotension) and its significance in pregnancy

All You Need To Know About Low Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

Finding out you are expecting can be the happiest news for a couple. Therefore, as you become to-be parents and begin this beautiful journey, it is necessary to be all the more careful during these 9 months. You can start with regulating blood pressure (bp) levels, a component that easily fluctuates during pregnancy. The best way to begin is by maintaining low bp symptoms in pregnancy.

Blood pressure is the pressure of blood exerted on the artery walls every time the heart beats. The ideal blood pressure is 120/80mmHg, the higher reading being the systolic pressure and the lower reading being the diastolic pressure. In the cardiovascular cycle, systole is when the heart pumps out blood and diastole is the heart’s resting phase. The blood pressure levels can vary from being extremely high, registering a reading of 140/90mmHg or higher leading to high blood pressure (hypertension), or registering a reading of 90/60mmHg, known as low blood pressure (hypotension).

The blood carries oxygen and essential nutrients to different organs. Low blood pressure is an indication that the brain and other body parts are not getting the blood supply they need. Therefore, if they are not getting enough of these vital nutrients, they may not function to their fullest capacity, resulting in low bp symptoms in pregnancy.

Normal Blood Pressure Changes in Pregnancy

Pregnancy causes many changes in a woman’s body. It is a normal occurrence for blood pressure to decrease slightly during pregnancy in the first and second trimester due to hormonal changes. However, excessive low blood pressure can affect the mother and the foetus. During pregnancy, low blood pressure can lead to reduced blood flow to vital organs, including the uterus and placenta, which may affect the baby’s growth and development.

Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure in Pregnancy

Here are some common symptoms and signs of low bp in pregnancy that you need to watch out for:

  • Light-headedness that may lead to fainting, especially when one stands up quickly after sitting or lying down
  • Shallow or rapid breathing
  • Cold and pale skin
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Nausea
  • Blurry vision
  • Feeling overheated
  • Headaches

A risky symptom that pregnant women are prone to is falling caused by fainting. A woman can injure herself which might cause loss of blood, leading to internal issues. Severe signs of low bp in pregnancycan also send you into a hypovolemic shock or lead to organ damage. It may keep the blood from reaching your foetus, which can affect the baby’s health. In case you feel any of these symptoms worsen, consult a healthcare professional immediately.

Causes of Low Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

Factors that contribute to low bp symptoms in pregnancy are:

  • Dehydration
  • Anaemia, that is, lacking a normal supply of red blood cells to carry oxygen to your brain and other organs
  • Heart conditions
  • Prolonged bed rest
  • Kidney disorder
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Ectopic pregnancy, which happens when a fertilized egg implants outside of a woman’s uterus
  • Malnutrition
  • Infections
  • Some medications that can lower blood pressure
  • Drinking alcohol

Complications Associated with Low Blood Pressure in Pregnancy

Low blood pressure during a crucial period like pregnancy may lead to serious complications, such as stillbirth and low birth weight of the baby. Therefore, while low blood pressure is a common condition, its symptoms should be carefully observed.

Management Strategies for Low Blood Pressure in Pregnancy

There is usually no medical treatment to treat signs of low bp in pregnancyand it is advisable to avoid taking too many medications unless the healthcare expert particularly prescribes anything. However, there are many home remedies you can try. Some solutions to prevent low bp symptoms in pregnancyinclude the following –

  • Take things slowly to prevent dizziness and get adequate rest to give your body the time to recover from fatigue.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. This can also help treat any morning sickness or vomiting that you may be facing. Drinking enough water and warm herbal teas can help settle the stomach.
  • Eat small healthy and nutritious meals throughout the day to keep yourself and your baby satiated. If you are facing low blood pressure, doctors may suggest increasing your daily salt intake. Do reduce your sodium intake after you deliver the baby.
  • Wearing compression socks or stockings can help improve blood circulation in your lower legs.
  • Treat the underlying conditions. So, if you have anaemia, your doctor may prescribe iron supplements.
  • Try light exercises to raise your heart rate and improve your overall cardiovascular health. However, follow this only after consulting your doctor and under the supervision of your partner or a trusted family member.

Prevention of Low Blood Pressure in Pregnancy

While you have your partner and family to take care of you during this sensitive period, here are a few management strategies to prevent low bp symptoms in pregnancy –

  • Avoid getting up too quickly when you are seated or lying down to prevent head rush.
  • Don’t consume excess salt which can increase sodium levels in your body.
  • Wear loose clothing so that your skin can breathe and you don’t feel suffocated.
  • Avoid taking hot baths or showers.
  • Don’t stand for long periods.

Conclusion

While low blood pressure is a common symptom in pregnancy, do notify your family doctor or gynaecologist immediately if the symptoms are severe and bothersome. It is of utmost importance to prioritise your well-being during pregnancy to deliver a healthy baby. Your child’s health is also in your hands. Therefore, undertake necessary measures to ensure protection, because here, two lives are at stake.

FAQs

1. How can I differentiate between normal pregnancy symptoms and symptoms of low blood pressure?

During pregnancy, it is common to feel dizzy, nauseated, fatigued, or light-headed. However, if these symptoms persist for a long time and get severe, it could be a sign of low bp in pregnancy. In that case, you should consult a healthcare professional immediately.

2. Are there certain times during pregnancy when low blood pressure symptoms are more likely to occur?

Low blood pressure symptoms are more acute in the first and second trimester of pregnancy owing to hormonal changes and increased blood volume. The blood pressure returns to normalcy in the third trimester. However, symptoms can occur at any time of the pregnancy if the mother is dehydrated or lying down for an extended period.

Medical professionals also check the postpartum blood pressure, that is, your blood pressure readings hours and days after your deliver the baby.

3. Can low blood pressure during pregnancy affect the baby's health or development?

While low blood pressure can be temporarily caused due to dehydration or quickly standing up after resting, prolonged hypotension can lead to decreased blood flow to the placenta, thereby affecting foetal growth and development. This can result either in stillbirths or the birth of premature babies.

4. When should I seek medical attention for symptoms of low blood pressure during pregnancy?

If you are facing extreme low blood pressure symptoms in pregnancy, it is advisable to seek immediate medical attention. Fainting and any injury caused, shortness of breath, confusion, or chest pain are some severe instances wherein you should consult your doctor. If you notice a sudden decrease in foetal movement or are worried about the baby’s well-being, it’s best to get all your queries and doubts sorted by consulting your doctor.

Sources –

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320303

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/low-blood-pressure/symptoms-causes/syc-20355465#:~:text=When%20the%20body%20doesn’t,exercise%20can%20lead%20to%20dehydration.

https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/low-blood-pressure-during-pregnancy

https:/www.singlecare.com/blog/low-blood-pressure-during-pregnancy/

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