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Dealing with White Coat Syndrome in pregnancy

(21 Posts)
Winter07 Mon 08-Aug-16 20:17:38

I wondered if anyone has any experience of dealing with White Coat Syndrome in pregnancy. I have a history of it which has previously been overcome at pill checks by the nurse accepting three home readings (always normal) and being aware of elevation in pulse and BP due to the White Coat syndrome.
At my booking appointment my BP was at the higher end of normal (130/80) and my pulse rate was high at 100 BPM. Midwife seemed to accept this and suggested it might improve as I get more used to seeing her. Have been for my 16 week apt today. BP was roughly the same as last time and my pulse rate was higher at around 110. She seemed much more concerned this time and suggested it could become problematic later in pregnancy as it could mask more sinister problems. She is referring me to the consultant and suggested that I may need beta blockers to manage anxiety and was adamant that I don't take any home readings. TBH I have gone against her advice and taken a reading at home tonight which was 114/55, pulse 82 and has put my mind at rest to a degree. I'm trying not to worry too much about it and will see what consultant says but guess my concern would be taking meds to lower BP and pulse if they aren't actually high and only spike when checked in appointments. I wondered if anyone out there has dealt with this during their pregnancy?

dementedpixie Mon 08-Aug-16 20:22:40

I would think they should offer you a 24 hour blood pressure monitor to use at home so they can see what your normal readings are. Your BP didn't sound that bad to me but your pulse did seem high.

dementedpixie Mon 08-Aug-16 20:23:38

I also got a home monitor to see what my normal readings were

KanyesVest Mon 08-Aug-16 20:33:23

Dd is the result of white coat syndrome - a locum wouldn't believe me and wouldn't renew my pill prescription! Anyway, I find for my bp checks, if I tell them in advance and close my eyes, breathe deeply and most importantly, not speak, it levels out. Other than that, a 24hr home monitor should give a more rounded reading.

Winter07 Mon 08-Aug-16 20:45:40

Thanks for the replies and it's good to know I'm not the only one! It seemed liked my M/W hasn't really dealt with this before which surprised me. I'm doing Hypnobirthing but only had one class so far and haven't practiced relaxation that much yet but I'm hoping that might help me in future. I can feel my pulse start to race as soon as she produces the BP monitor! I'll see what the consultant says but would hope they would offer 24 hour monitor before prescribing me any medication.

Gluetap Mon 08-Aug-16 20:52:26

I suffer from white coat and during my pregnancies I used to take my blood pressure at home before I saw the midwife. They were always happy with the home readings but also used to take my blood pressure during the appointment too. These were always inevitably higher. It was never suggested that I take any medication for hypertension.

Ineededtonamechange Mon 08-Aug-16 20:57:12

I always tell them in advance - mine is always lower on the second go - if it is high I get them to take it again and my body has sorted itself out by then.

Winter07 Mon 08-Aug-16 20:57:57

Thanks gluetap. My midwife seems very against home readings for some reason. She said the automatic monitors like you use at home don't work when you're pregnant? She uses the old fashioned pump type monitor instead. Not something I've heard before but then I don't know much about these things!

Winter07 Mon 08-Aug-16 21:00:44

She did take it a second time more or less straight away but only because I asked her to. I think I might ask her to take it towards the end next time to see if I manage to calm down any.

helterskelter99 Mon 08-Aug-16 21:03:18

I had the same midwife all the way through so she knew it took multiple attempts to get an accurate reading

Winter07 Mon 08-Aug-16 21:11:55

Think I need to be more vocal about her taking more than one reading and will see what the consultant's opinion is. If it gets taken by the consultant when I'm there it will probably be higher if anything!

TeaBelle Mon 08-Aug-16 21:15:03

Those pump ones tend to give me really inaccurate reasons, and the pump ones are much more effective, especially during pregnancy

Gluetap Mon 08-Aug-16 21:19:09

I saw different midwives during both pregnancies and no one seemed concerned by my home readings. It might be worth taking a few days readings (at different times of the day) before you see the consultant so you can show that your home readings are ok. Good luck!

gingerbreadmanm Mon 08-Aug-16 21:20:03

my mw took mine at beginning and towards end of appointment where it had usually calmed down a little. might be worth asking?

Rodent01 Mon 08-Aug-16 21:25:28

I had this massively! Have always had it, have been put on a 24 hour home monitor to check several times, and as soon as I'm out of a medical situ, it would be fine. I was even nearly admitted to hospital at 38 weeks pregnant because they wouldn't believe it would go down........ I think I got it written in my notes at some point so that I didn't have to keep trying to explain my way out of it and get more stressed!

I certainly wouldn't imagine you should be prescribed anything for it though - if it's only when in a medical situ then there's nothing to worry about.

Sadly the only way I have got over it was by having breast cancer when dd was 11 months and spending lots of time in hospital having it checked a billion times over and I seem to have got over it!

Winter07 Mon 08-Aug-16 21:28:08

Thanks everyone. I think I will take a few home readings anyway to put my mind at rest although she did advise against it! I feel better having checked it myself earlier and it being ok. At least I will have them to tell the consultant if they want them. I just googled it and apparently the auto machines aren't as accurate in pregnancy. Think the best thing I can do is not to stress about it and hopefully I can get it under control!

Winter07 Mon 08-Aug-16 21:30:13

Rodent01 thank you - it's always nice to know others have had the same problem. Sorry to hear about your cancer, I can't imagine how tough than must have been X

ceara Mon 08-Aug-16 21:44:07

OP, I'm another one with white coat hypertension. Ask for ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (24 hr monitor at home) now as it is more effective before 20 weeks - this will show whether it is white coat hypertension or not.

Winter07 Mon 08-Aug-16 22:19:21

Thanks Ceara. I'm now feeling a little surprised my m/w didn't suggest 24 hr monitor to me as it seems to be the norm where white coat is concerned.

LondonRoo Tue 09-Aug-16 18:41:47

I don't get it with the old fashioned pump readings but a beepy BP machine sends my BP and pulse through the roof. My midwife told me mine was low this week which is a first! I also find if I've had a chance to have a chat first then I will relax a bit and it's less of a problem.

I can't imagine the consultant will do anything other than a 24 hour measurement to rule out BP problems. Technically 110 resting pulse is tachycardia but if you were anxious then it's probably anxiety.

Good luck! Funny thing white coat hyper tension!


Winter07 Tue 09-Aug-16 19:03:11

Thanks LondonRoo. I can tell my pulse rate elevates when it's being taken! I guess it's mind over matter to a certain degree but it's a little frustrating. Hoping they give me 24hr monitor as my home readings are fine and it should rule out underlying problems. I'm just getting into my Hypnobirthing relaxation so hoping to employ some techniques to help.

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