Pregnancy and Parenting Features

Can Low Blood Pressure Affect Pregnancy?

Low blood pressure can definitely affect pregnancy. For a woman who is pregnant, low blood pressure can lead to fainting or dizziness. While fainting or dizziness is generally not too serious of a concern, the risks involved with falling due to dizziness or fainting present a risk to a pregnant woman in that a severe fall could greatly injure her or her baby. Still, low blood pressure is not as serious of a concern for the pregnant woman as high blood pressure is. Low blood pressure during pregnancy is not as common as high blood pressure during pregnancy, either.

The most common cause for low blood pressure, both for the pregnant woman and for the person who is not pregnant, tends to be dehydration. When fluids in the body are not replaced, it drastically affects the way that blood flows within the body. In addition, the heat that often contributes to dehydration can also contribute to low blood pressure. Standing for long periods during pregnancy can also affect your blood pressure during pregnancy.

Pregnancy creates its own unique set of cause for low blood pressure as well. When you are pregnant, blood tends to pool in your legs, which makes less blood available to your brain. When you rise from a laying down or a sitting position, you can feel faint or dizzy. Low blood pressure in a pregnant woman can also lead to problems with vision.

Low blood pressure during pregnancy may or may not require medical treatment. The treatment of low blood pressure is directed toward the treatment of the underlying cause; if low blood pressure is caused by dehydration, it may be treated by a physician with intravenous fluids. If the low blood pressure is caused by pooling blood, your physician may recommend graduated compression stockings. A little extra salt may also help, but in this case you need to discuss the other risks with your health care provider.

There are some things that you can do to help lessen the risk of having low blood pressure during pregnancy. These can include:

– Make sure that you take in plenty of fluids, especially water or other clear liquids.

– When you are lying down, lay on your side, rather than on your back. Lying on your side might also help with the sciatic nerve pain or lower back pain that often accompanies pregnancy.

– If you start to feel faint, you should immediately sit down. Put your head lower than your body until you no longer feel faint.

– When getting up from the sitting position, take it slowly. Often you can’t help but do this, especially in later pregnancy.

– Engage in an exercise routine regularly. Research shows that regular exercise helps keep blood pressure normal. Keep up with the exercise regimen that your health care provider recommends.

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