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High blood pressure, medication and childbirth

(26 Posts)
MiniLlace Mon 28-Sep-09 12:13:24

Hi - was hoping someone may have experience of this - I'm now 34 weeks and spent most of last week on and off in the hospital with suspected Pre-eclampsia. Thankfully the proteins first found have gone so I was left with only high blood pressure. I have been put on medication to get this back to a normal level which has appeared to have worked. What I am very interested in hearing is from others who were also on medication and what (if anything) this meant from a birth experience ... were you allowed a water birth? .. did you end up having an emergency c section? .. thanks!

piprabbit Mon 28-Sep-09 12:21:03

My BP got really high at the end of my pregnancy (I was hospitalised for a week and then ended up having to go in and be monitored every other day). I was on Labetalol once diagnosed, and carried on taking it through labour and throughout BFeeding (as my BP didn't drop all the way back to normal).

It didn't affect my birth at all, I was in labour for about 8 hours in total and the baby arrived really fast once I entered second stage (just a few minutes). It was a completely natural labour, just a little gas and air and my faithful TENS machine.

Good luck - I suess you are finding it all a bit scary at the moment, so if you have any question do talk to your MW as they should be able to advise you.

piprabbit Mon 28-Sep-09 12:21:31

Oops - guess bot suess (too much cat in the hat obviously).

piprabbit Mon 28-Sep-09 12:22:02

Ok I'm going to stop now - can't type for toffee... that should be not not bot.

MiniLlace Mon 28-Sep-09 12:23:23

Thanks piprabbit - it is all abit scary as Ive gone from a really 'normal' pregnancy to spending last week being hooked up to monitors - I too am being monitored now evey 2 days .. great news that it didnt affect your labour.. great to hear that infact - thank you!

babybillandsplodge Mon 28-Sep-09 12:27:35

Hi Mini, I'm in the same boat! 35 +5 wks pg, being monitored for high bp and may be induced next week when I reach 37 weeks.

Induction can be more painful, but I've been told I should avoid a section. This is my 2nd baby and I was induced last time (prem waters breaking at 38 wks) so they know a bit more about how my body responds maybe?

Good luck x

suiledonn Mon 28-Sep-09 12:28:42

I went through the same thing when I was expecting dd2 (10 months). I went in for a routine appointment and my bp was up.

I was sent home but had to come in the next day to have it checked - still up and I had to go in a third time. When it was still up I was admitted and monitored. It didn't come down so I was put on Trandate.

I was about 37/38 weeks at the time. They kept talking about induction but I never saw the same doctor twice and they couldn't seem to make up their minds.

The midwives were of the opinion that if the medication worked (it did) that it was best to let things happen naturally.

I was admitted several times before the medication kicked in and had traces of protein and some swelling on and off but they were happy enough to monitor me and wait and see.

In the end I went over due. I was released from hospital on a Wednesday and went into labour at home on Thursday night. Cue a mad rush to the hospital and dd2 was born less than 2 hours after labour began.

piprabbit Mon 28-Sep-09 12:31:49

I just wanted to add, at my hospital the regular monitoring meant that, although I was under threat of being induced, they medical staff would only encourage that decision if they felt either of us were at risk.
In the end I went a week overdue, as they were happy that my BP was under control once I was on the medicine.
Do question your doctors about the need for early induction, you may not be able to avoid it but it shouldn't be a forgone conclusion.

I was induced early for my first baby (no BP issues) and while it was a very positive experience, I did find it more painful than expected and wish I'd taken the epidural offered to me at the very start.

suiledonn Mon 28-Sep-09 12:33:24

Sorry posted that before I was finished...

Anyway meant to add my bp didn't come down after the birth either and had to stay on the medication for about 8 weeks after - you have to stop it gradually.

I was bf too and was advised that it was fine.

What is the highest your bp has been minilace?

If it is not too high and under control with no other symptoms they will probably moitor and wait and see.

If you are at home though it is important to take it easy as I found my bp always went up again after a few days at home when I tried to do too much.

Best of luck.

MiniLlace Mon 28-Sep-09 13:14:02

Thanks ladies this is all very reassuring - at its highest last week it was 166/105 - with medication its now down to 120/92 which they appear happier with .. the early induction is more because the scan revealed Mini isnt growing that well (she has fallen from the top quartile to the bottom of the lowest quartile) so they are concerned my placenta isnt functioning as well as it should ...

Sunshinemambo Mon 28-Sep-09 13:31:48

Hi Minilace this has also happened to me in both my pregnancies.

In the first one BP went up in last month and I also spent every two days at the hospital being monitored (I also had to do a 24 hour urine test!). I was put on labetelol and eventually induced. Unfortunately induction did not go to plan and DS was born by EMCS due to failure to progress.

With 2nd pregnancy BP went up again. I already had a planned section booked in for 39 weeks but, as BP drugs didn't work this time, section was brought forward to 38 weeks.

Good luck - it's a pain being monitored.

MiniLlace Mon 28-Sep-09 15:03:36

It is a pain - but to be honest it is forcing me to work less hours as I spend every second afternoon at the hospital. I suppose one thing I want to avoid is an Emergency C sec - therefore if from stories it was inevitable that most high BP cases end up that way I wanted to have that conversation now with the consultant - but it does appear that experience is mixed ... ie although its happened to some, its not inevitable

Sunshinemambo Mon 28-Sep-09 16:21:42

I don't think mine was due to high BP, but more due to failed induction due to high BP. I'm not sure what we could have done differently though. They kept threatening me with induction and I just got fed up of not knowing and the trips to hospital and agreed to it.

reikizen Mon 28-Sep-09 16:27:01

In the unit where I work you would be classed 'high risk' due to the raised BP (which is still on the high side with the medication)and possible problems with baby's growth so would not be a candidate for a water birth. They may also suggest continuous monitoring for both the above reasons but you can decline this if you wish. I am not aware of any link to increased risk of a section, but that would really depend on whether your BP remains settled and if they induce you or not.
Good luck

MiniLlace Mon 28-Sep-09 16:41:50

Thanks reikizen - really useful to understand from someone who works in a dept - I had a feeling the waterbirth was out - the midwife didnt say definatley no - but her reaction made me think that was the case - Im ok with that - and good to know now so i am able to come to terms with it way in advance of the birth ... Im also ok with the monitoring - a pain in some ways but also Ive come to realise through this just how fab the NHS is when things like this happen - I could no fault the care at all that I have received - I think all the midwives/consultants have gone out of their way to be caring and friendly and in a bizarre way this blip has made me more calm about the birth experience! ..

MrsHappy Mon 28-Sep-09 20:27:06

Hi MiniLlace

I had high BP which was medicated when I was expecting my DD. The medication brought it down to normal-ish and I ended up going into spontaneous labour at 41+3. There were no concerns over DD's growth though.

The high BP did impact on the way things turned out to the extent that I was not allowed into the MLU. I ended up with an emcs but that was not really anything to do with my BP which behaved itself throughout labour.

It did get very high after the emcs (200 over something) which had the hospital anaesthetist looking very worried and I ended up in hospital for the best part of a week as they ruled out HELLP syndrome (a sort of post-delivery pre-eclampsia). I was then on BP medication for a month until things stabilised but it did all go back to normal in the end and, even better, does not seem to be repeating itself in this pregnancy.

One thing I would say about CFM - it can really tie you to the bed, especially if you have a BP monitor from the other side. So if I were you I would make sure they take the monitor off quite a bit so you can move around. That should help you in achieving a vaginal birth.

cory Mon 28-Sep-09 21:15:07

I had high blood pressure before I even conceived but it went up in pregnancy.

I was induced in both pregnancies (wk 36 and 37), the first time I had a vaginal delivery, the second time a caesarian (but only because ds's heart beat went down, I was ok)

both babies were somewhat small, but neither needed special treatment

tink08 Wed 30-Sep-09 10:16:24

Hi minilace i am also on bp meds this pregnancy (but i had preeclampsia in my last pregnancy)
I'm nearly 33 weeks and been in hospital 3 times so far due to bp being up . sad
I'm on methyldopa 250mg 3 times a day at mo coz labetalol makes me really ill hmm
Anyway my bp still does'nt seem to be that great around the 90 mark but still jumps up every now and then . I generally feel rubbish all the time but no protein at the moment , i keep getting a trace but then it disapears with bedrest .
My consultant won't give me a date for c-section as he says it could be whenever if my bp won't stay under control !
Does anyone know if they will still section me even without the protein if my bp shoots up again ???

MiniLlace Thu 01-Oct-09 09:46:31

Hi tink08 - Im also on methyldopa 250MG also but only 2 tabs a day ... again since taking it my BP went down but appears to be back borderline again - and like you every time i go there are either no proteins or only trace proteins .. its frustrating as it seems neither one thing or the other ...

I see the consultant as well as midwives on each visit and now need to go twice a week for the rest of the pregnancy if nothing else happens ... the sense i have from them is as long as its only BP and it doesnt consistently shoot up then the monitoring is all they will do ..
.. can I ask you mention c section - is that because you had one before ? .. or have they said c section because of your BP profile this time? thanks!!

tink08 Thu 01-Oct-09 12:32:05

i'm opting for a c section this time but i did have one last time without choice smile

differentnameforthis Thu 01-Oct-09 12:44:47

Have you had any headaches?

Pain at the top of your bump that feels like indigestion, only doesn't go with meds?

Visual disturbances?

What did blood tests reveal?

differentnameforthis Thu 01-Oct-09 12:46:28

I was induced due to high BP. Was 140/110. I was going to have a natural birth, but dd was distressed & I hadn't had an epidural.

/92 is still too high imo.

MiniLlace Thu 01-Oct-09 13:10:45

differentnameforthis - can i ask at what week you were induced? for other symptoms I now have quite bad swelling of the hands and feet, have the odd visual disturbance ie every few days but not all the time .. the blood tests are fine and only have an odd headache - I think on Tues when I go back I need to get some questions answered especially around whether they are planning on inducing early as they have not been forthcoming about letting me know their thoughts ...

bruffin Thu 01-Oct-09 13:16:45

My bottom BP went up to 95 when I was 32 weeks. I had MW coming in for a few days to monitor but I think it did go up to 105.
I was taken into hospital then and stayed in and was monitored everyday to get me to 38 weeks.
38 weeks still was high in 90s but they decided to leave it a few more days. I was never given medication
Next day I had protein and my BP went to 110. I was in the labour ward for the weekend when it went to 125 and on the monday moring I was induced. Induction took 2 days finally went into labour tuesday night. I had an epidural which slowed down everything. Ventuese failed so was taken into theatre for emergency cs if forceps failed. Forceps worked and he was born Wednesday night. He is a huge strapping boy if 14 now with no problems from the birth or the high BP.

At the time we were told it's not the actually BP that is the problem but the difference from the booking in BP that they look for.

differentnameforthis Fri 02-Oct-09 12:02:32

I was induced 34 weeks spot on after a antenatal check revealed that BP & a 24hour urine collection showed WAY too much.

Swelling of hands & feet is to be expected to some degree, how is your face? Is that swollen at all?

If you get a headache that you cannot shift with normal painkillers before Tues, please call your care team, same with headache & visual disturbances.

Or pain across the top of your bump.

By the way, dd was 4lb 4 & now at 6, you would never know!

Good Luck!

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