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Any tips for managing blood pressure?

(16 Posts)
Spaghettinetti Tue 25-Feb-14 09:43:51


I'm 30 weeks pregnant and am having weekly BP checks due to having a BP of 130/90 at booking in. In my early midwife appintnents my BP was on average 130/80, although it did go down a bit (120/70). Now the thing is, I tend to get anxious when I visit the hospital and I think my elevated BP has a lot to do with that (basically I've got white coat syndrome mixed with general anxiety disorder). I've no protein in my wee or oedema. I really don't want to have to take any medication unless it's absolutely necessary. I just wondered if anyone a) was experiencing something similar; or b) could recommend some ways of getting my BP down?

Thanks! :-) x

mrsmugoo Tue 25-Feb-14 10:07:49

Mine averages at 130/90 and they aren't worried about me at all?

They say it's the high end of normal.

mrsmugoo Tue 25-Feb-14 10:07:58

Sorry meant 130/80

mrsbug Tue 25-Feb-14 10:11:49

I can't remember what mine was, but I was told it was borderline normal / high. Like you, I think it was mostly 'white coat syndrome'.

I listened to natal hypnotherapy for the birth (which I recommend anyway, especially if you're an anxious person) and tried to use some of the techniques from that to stop my bp rocketing when I had it checked. Maybe it worked as it never went quite high enough for them to do anything, and it always went down during the appointment (the mw would check it again at the end of the appointment).

If it's any help, my bp was 'nice and low' throughout labour.

Gimmesomemore Tue 25-Feb-14 10:19:31

I was the same as you with my last pregnancy. I had a home bp machine, but then I'd check it and panic if it was high.

I think trying to relax and breathe properly before and during a reading helped me. Also I'd have both arms "read"as bp readings can differ.

I did end up on medication as my bp was 200/130 during labour and stayed over 160/110 following labour, and no protein in my urine. Although the majority of women's bp will regulate to normal after delivery.

Rest and relax as much as possible, drink plenty of fluids and let them worry about you!

x0gawjus0x Tue 25-Feb-14 10:20:25

I have been monitored 3x week for Bp since 32 weeks am now 39... They start gerttting weary if your systolic (top) number is more than 160 or if your lower (dyastolic) number is higher than 90, my Bp is regularly 150/84-90 and still not high enough for meds just 'keeping a close eye' so they probably won't put you on anything at that reading x

Inglori0us Tue 25-Feb-14 12:38:15

Explain to the midwife that you get anxious about BP testing and ask her to do it a few times. Take deep, slow breaths and repeat "relax relax" to yourself.
Also a manual BP test usually gives slightly lower results that the electronic machine.

Inglori0us Tue 25-Feb-14 12:39:43

And don't worry as your readings aren't that high and are still within normal range. And it's not elevated from your booking in reading which is what medics will compare it to.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 25-Feb-14 12:43:35

could you get yourself a home BP monitor??

I used to have my pulse and BP checked all the time at the start of my pregnancy due to a minor heart condition I have and I always used to dread having high readings - as a result my anxiety/panic would cause both readings to shoot up!! Like you said, White Coat Syndrome.

I bought a home monitor and whenever I tested in the comfort of my own home when I was relaxed all my readings were absolutely fine. I would test twice a day, record it and then when I next had to see my HCP (be it GP, Midwife or Obstetrician) I would just show them the readings I'd been getting at home and they were more than happy to accept those as more accurate readings than the one-off reading they ever got off me whilst I was panicking in their waiting room smile

Spaghettinetti Tue 25-Feb-14 15:47:22

Thank you for all of your help advice. I have to say, this website has really helped me during this pregnancy. Thanks again, all the best to you all. xx

ChicaMomma Tue 25-Feb-14 16:14:46

130/80 isnt high at all- if you take out the white coat syndrome i'd imagine in real terms it's bang on 120/80!
My friend has just been hospitalised with 200/130 (pre eclampsia), now that is high! They'll be sectioning her this week (32 weeks)

Imnotsurehowtogetthisout Tue 25-Feb-14 17:00:55

I'm exactly the same spaghetti. I have had this before at the GP and was coping ok during pregnancy until another health issue cropped up and I started to be nervous at my appointments. I now have it monitored once or twice a week at the hospital and my results are similar to yours. Although when I am relaxed at home they are always fine.

I also find my hypnobirthing CD really helpful and use those techniques at my appointments. Sometimes I even listen to it in the waiting room or when they are taking my readings. No one has spoken about medication, all of them think it is white coat syndrome because no other symptoms, bloods and urine clear and my placenta was checked with a scan. My husband says I am in the sweet spot - nothing really wrong with me but everyone looking after

Other things I have found really helpful during pregnancy...ante natal yoga, acupuncture and meditation.

weebigmamma Tue 25-Feb-14 17:45:41

I'd add to this: don't be too worried about having to take meds if it comes to that. My BP went high at the end of my first pregnancy and this time around it happened earlier. I have always had 'white coat syndrome' but pregnancy can also just make your BP go a bit nuts. It is worth taking the doctor's advice over anyone else's. My sister had severe pre-eclampsia and it came on very suddenly indeed and she had to deliver 3 months early. This is why they are monitoring you so often even though your BP is now at the high end of normal. I spent a long time worrying about how to get my BP down and tried everything that has been mentioned here so far. I also have a home monitor which registers my BP as lower than it does at the doc's, but I am not willing to take risks with it because I don't want to go through anything like what my sister had to endure. For some people the preventing-high-BP stuff will work and others will just get gestational high BP- it's one of those things. Good luck to you! It's brilliant that they are monitoring you carefully. x

weebigmamma Tue 25-Feb-14 17:46:08

(PS I am on meds and they are controlling my BP now. I'm very glad about this)

BEEwitched Tue 25-Feb-14 18:51:39

My booking bp was 147/88 and no one mentioned any checks, they only came after I had bleeding and was at the GP because of it and anxiety problems and the bp was even higher. Even then they only checked every two weeks, and as it's been steadily within the normal range of just below 140/90 we've now stopped doing the extra checks.

Just goes to show how differently it is handled from case to case!

lljkk Tue 25-Feb-14 19:03:46

The only BP scare I had in pregnancy was after bad sleep deprivation, so I think a big thing is to rest well, low salt foods & plenty of liquids. There's lots you can't control, but those things you probably can.

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