Your blood pressure varies depending on the circumstances. It will be high if you’ve just had an argument at work prior to coming for your visit.
At each prenatal visit, you should have your blood pressure checked, preferably while lying on your left side. If you already have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, and are on medication, consult your physician.
Certain drugs are safer than others while pregnant. It is very important to keep your blood pressure as normal as possible. If your blood pressure begins to rise during pregnancy, your doctor will keep a close watch for pre-eclampsia. This is a very serious condition, which usually requires delivery of the baby. There are several signs and symptoms involved in diagnosing pre-eclampsia:
1. A rise in blood pressure
2. Severe water retention, known as edema. This is usually found in your ankles, legs and hands.
3. Spilling protein in your urine
4. Having very quick reflexes
5. Severe headaches, blurred vision and abdominal pain are also signs of severe pre-eclampsia.
High blood pressure in pregnancy places you at a high risk, but with close supervision, you should have a normal, healthy pregnancy.
Peter Weiss is a Beverly Hills-based obstetrician/gynecologist and leading advocate for mother’s-to-be. A member of the Royal Society of Medicine and an assictant clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine, Dr. Weiss’ writing have appeared in numerous parenting publications nationwide.