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high blood pressure reading - what do I do?

(18 Posts)
MissTwister Thu 21-May-15 20:30:13

Hi all

I measure my BP at home because it has had a tendency to be raised in the past. I've done a few readings this evening and its at 135/90 on average which is obviously high. Do you think I need to do something about this tonight or just monitor it? My next MW appointment is next Tuesday.

I am 30 weeks. Any advice?

comfyoldcardi Thu 21-May-15 20:34:37

What is your normal reading?
Do you have headache or visual disturbances, swollen feet/ankles/pain under your ribs in the stomach area?
You should see your midwife to have your urine tested.

If you have no other symptoms call your midwife in the morning.
If you do have other symptoms call the labour ward.

This is a good reason for checking your BP when your midwife is contactable, not late in the evening.

mummyneedinganswers Thu 21-May-15 20:35:14

I don't know much about it but to my blood pressure is always around that and they always tell me its normal, I'm always between 120-140/70-90 and they always say to me its perfect unless that's just normal for me if your worried ring midwife, have you any headaches or swolens ankles or hand ?

comfyoldcardi Thu 21-May-15 20:35:59

Sorry - that sounded a bit snippy OP. Didn't mean it to - just don't want you to spend all night worrying.

MissTwister Thu 21-May-15 20:38:09

I'm at work all day so can't test then unfortunately. This would have been a normalish reading prior to pregnancy but weirdly it had dropped quite significantly to about 117/75 during the pregnancy.

I had a headache today but that's gone, no other symptoms

mummyneedinganswers Thu 21-May-15 20:40:09

Ring if your concerned or monitor it over next few hours if it gets higher or doesn't change ring them to get advice xx hope your OK OP

MissTwister Thu 21-May-15 20:45:59

Thank you - my urine was clear of protein last Thursday so might leave it till the AM and see then

pinkie1982 Thu 21-May-15 22:23:50

Do you have a digital monitor or a manual one?

I had a lot of swelling today and a dizzy spell. I work in a hospital and had my BP taken on a machine. It read high - 150/98! I rang my midwife and they said to go in. Took my BP with the manual pump as they normally do and it read normal for me - 120/70.
They said pregnant women should not be tested on a digital monitor as they cannot read it properly due to the increased blood volume you have in there

lightgreenglass Thu 21-May-15 22:32:15

Your blood pressure dips in the second trimester below rising again in the third trimester. If it was normal for you pre pregnancy and you generally feel well then I wouldn't worry too much, easier said than done.

Agree re the digital monitors being rubbish - I always have high readings on the digital monitor but with the pump - I have low blood pressure.

Teeste Thu 21-May-15 22:43:00

I've just spent 2 days being monitored in hospital for high BP. My highest was mid-140s/mid-90s, which is officially classed as mild hypertension. Because my BMI is raised, I was kept in for obs and am now on beta blockers and extra super careful monitoring for signs of pre-eclampsia.

Your BP does typically drop a bit in the first half of pregnancy. Anything under 140/90 is technically normal. I have been repeatedly told that pre-eclampsia always presents with protein in the urine, so I just have hypertension. But, being high risk, they take it very seriously. PE symptoms they've drilled into me are the 'thunderclap' headache which is at the front of the head, forehead area over the eyes (i.e. not just anywhere), pain at the top right hand side of your bump, kind of under the ribs (where your liver is), seeing flashing lights and sudden-onset swelling of the face, hands or feet. If any of these happen, go to hospital immediately.

I personally would monitor your BP for a day then call triage or your MW for further advice if it persists towards the 140/90 threshold - one highish reading could be an anomaly, whereas more than two 4 hours apart are likely not. If you do this, be prepared for a hospital stay and pack a bag! It's lots of hanging around on an antenatal ward having your BP taken every 4 hours and it's deathly boring. They do this to see if your BP spikes at any particular time, including the middle of the night. The right size of cuff also seems to make a difference, manual or digital - believe me, I've been through them all.

Of course, if you're really worried, this won't help your BP one jot so get some professional advice asap. Hope it all works out for you!

Foggymist Thu 21-May-15 22:51:04

Just to mention that I had pre eclampsia and the only symptom identifiable without tests was relatively sudden swelling of my feet, with my bp at 190/100-183/111 I had none of the symptoms listed above. So don't be waiting for them to appear if in doubt. The bp you mentioned was "fine" by my gp, they weren't concerned until it hit 140/90+ for a sustained period of time, and even then it wasn't until I had protein in urine AND high bp AND the large amount of swelling that they admitted me.

MissTwister Fri 22-May-15 07:28:09

That's interesting Pinkie as the hospital often take it digitally! It is lower when they use a manual one though.

Teeste, lightgreenglass and Foggymist thanks so much for advice. Have taken it this morning and its right back down to 117/72. Will monitor over next few days and am seeing MW on Tuesday. It does tend to go up and down which they don't like either!

Rib pain is a tricky one as I had right sided pain there before pregnancy - had all sorts of liver tests including an MRI and they found nothing wrong! That pain still comes and goes..

pinkie1982 Fri 22-May-15 07:43:06

They said the digital machines used by antenatal units and delivery suites are specially tailored for pregnant women but standard ones aren't x

Skiptonlass Fri 22-May-15 07:46:27

Your blood pressure can vary loads over the day. There's also a phenomenon called white coat hypertension, where the anticipation if a doctor (or even yourself) can make it spike a bit.

Your reading wasn't dangerously high at all, but id certainly mention it to your midwife tomorrow anyway, just so they are aware. I would imagine they'll tell you to keep an eye on it and watch for other symptoms, so don't panic smile

Foggymist Fri 22-May-15 08:39:35

Skipton just reminded me, take your bp, discard that reading then take it again, first is almost always higher, version of white coat syndrome. Sit upright, feet on floor, left arm at heart height, and go to the bathroom beforehand if you need to go. I had right shoulder pain, was asked once if I had it and was met with a knowing look when I said ye, but nobody explained it. Dr. Google later told me it's referred pain from your liver, not where you'd expect it.

MissTwister Fri 22-May-15 08:57:13

Hi all, loads of good advice, thanks all. I had my whooping cough jab this morning and persuaded the nurse to test urine and take BP. Back to normal at 130/78 and urine clear so all good for now!

scarednoob Fri 22-May-15 09:27:42

it might just have been a bit of stress from something at work that caused it to go up? I'd say put your feet up over the bank holiday!!

ShootTheMoon Fri 22-May-15 09:44:18

You've had some great advice here and it's good that your BP has dropped.

I'm a veteran of gestational hypertension, which hasn't developed into PE (fx anyway). Generally speaking you'll be monitored weekly if your BP is over 140/90 and you are supposed to go to maternity assessment if it's over 150/100. Usually they want two high readings four hours apart to decide on treatment.

It was probably just an errant reading, but it's worth asking for your BP to be taken every time you see a nurse/GP/MW.

If you do get any other high readings, it's worth being aware that with gestational hypertension your BP can shoot up during labour. Mine went to 170/130 having bumbled along just around the 150/100 threshold. I had to be moved (during transition!) from the MW unit to delivery in a bit of a panic. So if you have hints of high BP as your pregnancy progresses without the symptoms of PE, it's worth talking with your MW about whether a hospital setting may be more appropriate for the birth.

Good luck smile

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