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pre-existing high blood pressure and pregnant

(7 Posts)
Polly1976 Thu 19-May-11 12:55:57

I've been told by my midwife that I'm a high risk pregnancy so will need to see a conhsultant rather than her. This is making me very worried because I wonder what may happen. My blood pressure has been high since I was in my very early twenties, I'm now 35, thought I would never get pregnant as I watched everyone I knew have babies all around me for years. I had an ectopic pregnancy about 5 years ago which meant emergency surgery and a transfusion and I keep thinking somethings bound to go wrong

BloodyClearBlue Thu 19-May-11 13:07:33

No advice sorry, but wanted to mark my place as I have a thread with a similar question just down the page.

Can I ask though, do you take medication for your bp and have they changed it now you're pregnant?

I think you may be more likely to develop pre-eclampsia if you already suffer high bp and are 35+ but not completely sure of this.

Congratualtions on your pregnancy and lots of luck x

mrsmarzipan Thu 19-May-11 20:32:53

you are high risk but please don't worry too much.
I developed pre eclampsia with my first pregnancy which did not settle after birth so have high blood pressure.
Was on Amlodipine, daily aspirin and folic acid through out my second pregnancy (changed to labetalol at 36 weeks so i could breastfeed), I was closely monitored with extra scans and had to give birth in consultant lead unit. I had no problems at all and after 2nd baby my body re set itself (which if you are in early thirties is still possible) and i came off all meds a year ago.
Am pregnant again now (only 8 weeks so keeping my fingers tightly crossed!) and back on the meds just as a precaution.
You will be well cared for and they will monitor you closely so please try to relax (which will keep your bp down!) and enjoy your pregnancy! x

heidipi Thu 19-May-11 21:16:32

Hi - just wanted to say that I was in a very similar situation (though I was 41, so positively ancient!), was on BP medication (bendroflumethiazide) before I got pregnant, then changed to Methyldopa during the pregnancy after I was referred to a consultant because of my BP history, as you're being. I also saw a midwife regularly though, not just the consultant.

I had some extra tests and an extra scan (as much because of my age as the BP I think though) but had a very easy pregnancy overall. My BP started to creep up from 36 weeks and I was then monitored more closely and induced at 38 weeks (I could have waited longer but felt it was better to do it then than wait for my BP to go up higher and be induced in a rush - but that was just my personal choice). Straightforward labour and birth - no BP problems during the birth and there wasn't a consultant in the room, just a midwife. I stayed in hospital for 2 nights (i.e. an extra night) after DD was born as the consultant changed my BP med to Labetalol and wanted to see how that went before I went home. Since then I've just been seeing my GP as previously and all back to as it was before I was pregnant.

So it was all fine - DD is now 6 months old and I'm considering doing it all again!

I got the impression that although there is a higher risk, I wasn't actually that unusual - my consultant was very down to earth and I just felt like they were keeping an eye on me.

Hope that's reassuring and hopefully you'll feel better after you've seen the consultant. He/she should tell you what to expect and how they anticipate looking after you.

Congratulations on your pregnancy by the way!! Enjoy.

heidipi Thu 19-May-11 21:30:14

Sorry yes - meant to say re pre-eclampsia. Obviously they did keep an eye out for PE symptoms throughout and did various tests (because of my age and BP history), but my raised BP towards the end wasn't PE.

One of the tests they had me do was to collect ALL my urine over 24 hours and take it back to the hospital. There I was off to my appointment the next day on the bus, 36 weeks pregnant, cradling a demi-john of wee in a carrier bag on my lap and terrified I'd somehow drop it. I didn't, thankfully.

Also (I'm remembering more stuff now) I was told that being in pain during labour can make blood pressure go up, but epidurals lower bp so I might want to consider having one for that reason. I thought a medical reason for opting for pain relief (rather than just not liking pain...) was brilliant and was all set to have one but in the end DD arrived so quickly there was no time. One to bear in mind though!

WiiUnfit Thu 19-May-11 23:00:31

Hello polly, just wanted to share my experience with you...

The Consultant-led care is due to an increased risk of developing pre-eclampsia so I believe. I should imagine you will be seen more regularly to have your blood pressure & proteinurea (protein in your wee) tested to make sure you aren't developing PE. You may also have growth scans & dopplers to check the blood flow to & from the baby.

I too have pre-existing high bp (regularly 150+ / 110+) due to kidney problems, I don't know if your care will be similar to mine but I am under Consultant-led care but I do see my Community Midwives (they job-share) too. I was on Amias 4mg Candersarten (sp?) before pregnancy and was switched to Labetalol as soon as I found out, it took them a while to get the doseage right as they assumed my blood pressure would go up quite quickly and drastically - it turns out it didn't really, it has really been behaving itself apart from 2 blips where I ended up staying in hospital overnight at 28 weeks. I'm currently 34+3 and on a tiny dose of 50mg daily because it is behaving (fingers crossed it stays that way!)

Because of my pre-exisiting problems, I'm kept a really close eye on which is so reassuring, you know you're really being looked after & will be if anything does go wrong. We have had Consultant appointments at 11w, 20w, 24w, 28w, 30w, 34w and will have another two at 36w and 38w, I have also seen my CMW inbetween (currently a quick 5 minute visit twice weekly to have my bp and proteinurea checked).

I know your bp may not behave like mine but I really hope it will do for you & worrying really won't help you - you are in safe hands, I promise! smile

sodthehousework Mon 13-Jun-11 14:47:12

Hi Polly
I have high bp normally due to kidney problems and I am having my second baby in October. First pregnancy was consultant led and went fine. Had to switch my meds before conceiving and was put on amlodipine and aspirin (am on the same for this pregnancy). Everything went well with ds1, had regular hospital checks which became weekly towards the end. My bp was good until 39 weeks when it started to rise a bit. I was asked if I wanted an induction then or if I wanted to wait til 40 weeks as it wasn't definitely pre-eclampsia. I had my son at 39 weeks and blood pressure wise I had no problems. It was always the plan from the start for me to be induced and not go overdue because of my bp. I decided to have an epidural because I was induced.
Consultant led just means a closer eye is kept on you and signs for pre-eclampsia are always being monitored. I felt quite reassured by the regular check ups and have no major concerns with this pregnancy . I have been seen less this time so far which is nice (am 23 weeks now). I have just one extra scan of the placenta in a few weeks to check for any potential signs of pre-eclampsia but other than that the rest of the time will probably just mean being monitored regularly at the hospital.
Most of my hospital visits used to consist of seeing the MW first for the usual baby checks then seeing the obstetrician and another doctor with more knowledge about the kidney side of things. Then blood tests of course.
Good luck with everything and congratulations on your pregnancy!

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