Low Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

It is not uncommon for a woman who is pregnant to have issues with blood pressure. High blood pressure during pregnancy, known as preeclampsia, can be a very serious concern. Low blood pressure, while perhaps not as common as high blood pressure during pregnancy, can still be concerning, though not in the same way that high blood pressure is. This is because low blood pressure often can lead to dizziness or fainting. The risk of fainting and especially falling due to low blood pressure can be a problem during pregnancy.

The greatest cause of low blood pressure, whether during pregnancy or at any other time, tends to be dehydration. When the body loses fluids that are not replaced it drastically affects to flow of blood in the body. Additionally, being very hot can contribute to low blood pressure. Standing for a long duration can also lead to low blood pressure during pregnancy.

During pregnancy, there are other specific factors that can cause you to have low blood pressure. Pregnancy causes blood to pool in your legs, making less blood available to the brain. Thus, when you rise from a laying or sitting position you may feel dizzy or faint. Low blood pressure may also cause vision problems for a pregnant woman.

Low blood pressure may or may not require medical treatment. The treatment of low blood pressure is directed toward the underlying cause; if low blood pressure is caused by dehydration, it may be treated by a physician with intravenous fluids. If it 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 you can do to prevent low blood pressure during pregnancy. They can include:

– Make sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially water or other clear liquids.

– When you lay down, try to lie 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, 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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