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Can someone explain blood pressure to me?

(37 Posts)
SarahL2 Mon 13-Jul-09 14:53:29

Midwife last Tuesday said my blood pressure was 110/60. She said that this was low but probably normal for me as BP had been exactly that same at booking in. She did say it should be going up by now but didn't seem worried.

Different midwife today says my blood pressure is 100/60 and that this is fine.

100/60 seems lower than 110/60 to me?! But I know nothing about blood pressure... <confused emoticon>

I have regular headaches, dizzy spells, a complete lack of energy and frequent nausea. I told midwife today - she seemed unbothered. Put headaches down to just being pregnant. Advised I eat well and agreed with me that drinking lots might help. She seemed completely unbothered that I wasn't feeling well so I gave up - have had rotten experiences with midwives in the past and am beginning to hate the lot of them!

Can anyone explain to me what those readings mean? Has my blood pressure gone down some more? Is there anything I can do - other than plumbing myself into the mains water as this is the only way I could drink more! - to raise my blood pressure so I don't feel so dreadful all the time? I missed the whole weekend cause I felt so awful all I wanted to do was lay on the sofa! DS is missing out and I have a kitchen to finish before DC2 comes along!!!

Can anyone help?

belgo Mon 13-Jul-09 14:58:43

110/60 is a normal, healthy blood pressure.
100/60 is very slightly on the low side, for many people this wouldn't be anything to worry about, but you seem to be experiencing symptoms of low blood pressure - in particular dizziness. Eating and drinking well may help, keep biscuits beside your bed and make sure you don't get up too fast.

How many weeks pregnant are you?

SarahL2 Mon 13-Jul-09 15:31:39

Thanks belgo.

I'm 16 weeks pregnant.

I've been drinking tonnes and trying to eat little and often. This is getting a lot easier over the past couple of weeks as my morning sickness seems to have subsided a little and rather than 24 hour sickness, I'm now only nauseous morning and evenings.

I've been eating with my DS so breakfast when we get up (usually cereal with milk and raisins), a snack around 10, lunch at 12 (usually sandwiches and fruit and maybe some crisps if I'm still peckish, another snack in the afternoon while he naps and then dinner...

I feel so sorry for poor DS. We usually do loads but I'm just so tired all the time and the endless headaches are making me snappy

alana39 Mon 13-Jul-09 15:35:42

My blood pressure was 100/60 for most of the time during first 2 pregnancies. Felt a bit lightheaded occasionally on standing, but that was it. I don't know if you know what your normal BP is - mine is usually only 110/65 so hardly any different, and as long as you don't start keeling over due to it falling lower it's much better than having to worry about high BP.

As Belgo said don't get dehydrated, and remember it is normal in lots of people (as is feeling dizzy etc even if noone has commented on your BP!)

SarahL2 Mon 13-Jul-09 16:05:32

Not sure what my normal blood pressure is to be honest - not helpful I know - but I did get pre-eclampsia towards the end of my first pregnancy which is why they're keeping such a close eye on it.

I went all light headed while queueing for Ds's swimming certificate this morning and feel rotten cause of the headache I've got at the moment, it's really beginning to get me down. I didn't have anything like this with my previous pregnancy.

I seem to be constantly hot too - especially my bump. I keep having to hoist my tops up and tuck them into my bra to keep it cool!!

ameliaandme Mon 13-Jul-09 17:02:50

systolic reading is the 100 number and this is when your heart is contracting

Dystolic is the lesser number and the pressure when your heart is relaxing (if that makes sense!)

As you bloood pressure hasn't changed too much from your booking measurement and that was normal i wouldn't worry too much.

B/p reading can fluctuate a little during the day, and due to a lot of other things. If worried always ask your GP, but if you're midwife is not worried then you shouldnt be either

Next time just tell her you'd like to know more about it
Good luck

CakeForBreakfast Mon 13-Jul-09 17:06:49

Hello SarahL2,

I have had similar BP's to you, my BP over first pregnancy was average 90/60, which is deemed low but healthy low.

At the moment, I am 23 weeks with pg2 and my last BP was 94/50. I was a bit alarmed, but was told by my midwife that as long as I'm not fainting all over the place, its absolutely fine. She said, unless I am fainting, they only really worry about high pressure, not low.

I've been a bit woozy every now and again and get breathless when I eat, which I think might be related to the BP thing, but since I've never fainted, I've not given it another thought.

SarahL2 Mon 13-Jul-09 17:21:43

Definitely feeling woozy a lot but it's the headaches that are gtting me down. They're making me snappy with DS and it's not fair on him. It's making me resent this pregnancy because of the effect it's having on him

CakeForBreakfast Tue 14-Jul-09 20:41:57

It sounds horrible, I'm really sorry for you! I also read somewhere that headaches is a pregnancy 'niggle', but if its affecting your day to day life, someone medical should take some notice. I go to my GP if I'm getting no joy from the midwife, they are both there to look after you.

I SERIOUSLY relate with the snapping at other dc, my poor dd is having to cope with an achey SPD ridden hormonal mummy, as if general mum-guilt wasn't bad enough, pregnant mum guilt is terrible!

pippa251 Wed 15-Jul-09 09:02:12

I wouldn't worry

I'm 40 + 3 and my bp has been static at 110/60 from day 1 - my mw has been impressed from day one and has put it down to healthy lifestyle- still going swimming gym 5 times a week until week 40

They have always classed me as low risk mainly bedause of this I think and I have had no problems - apart from the usual feeling a bit lethargic/ like a whale

SarahL2 Wed 15-Jul-09 15:21:18

I feel truely awful today. Thought I was going to pass out more than once at toddler group this morning

It's actually making me feel a bit scared of going out in the car as I feel like I might be a dangerous driver!

Added to this DS wouldn't nap this afternoon and I could literally sleep on my feet at the moment - I am so tired.

Very miserable today

SarahL2 Wed 15-Jul-09 15:51:34

Just called DH to check he easn't going to be late home from work as I couldn't cope and burst into tears.

This is definitely my last baby!!

nellie12 Wed 15-Jul-09 16:02:42

my bp is usually like this and the same when pregnant but I was also slightly anaemic and noticed that if hb dropped a bit so did systolic bp. You do sound anaemic especially with fainting and tiredness (although that can also be normal with pregnancy).
I had to pester the mw to have hb checked. It was only slightly low but enough to make me feel rotten. And having had it with previous pregnancies I do not like playing catch up with my hb at 6months. I would pester to have hb checked. Gp's can be more sympathetic. sorry that rambled but hope it helps.

SarahL2 Wed 15-Jul-09 16:06:40

When I went in last week the midwife said my HB was normal, can't remember the actual figure though. That result was from my booking in blood though so it could have changed. Might be worth asking if I can get it checked again - thanks Nellie

I will certainly carry on taking my pre-natal vits to try and help in the meantime.

princessmel Wed 15-Jul-09 16:26:51

I have heard that a little more salt in your diet can help with this as it raises your blood pressure. Obviously not too much, but just a bit.

I felt very faint at that stage and I took water with me everywhere. I sipped it all the time. And as soon as I felt dizzy I just sat down wherever I was. On the pavement, outside school, on the floor in M+S etc!!!!

SarahL2 Wed 15-Jul-09 16:43:31

Thanks Princessmel - one of my pregnancy cravings is Salt and Vinegar McCoys (the saltier the better) so I'm not sure I dare risk much more salt in my diet!! grin

Thankyou very much for the suggestion though. I appreciate all the help.

I think that's why I'm so frustrated. I'm doing the drinking loads and balanced diet and extra salt and still feeling rubbish. Nothing seems to be helping sad

jaype Wed 15-Jul-09 19:30:31

Don't stand still for too long - my bp is normally 90-100 over 60 though in last pregnancy it dropped to 80/45 at one point and I was feeling rather dizzy a lot.

If you have to stand in a queue or anything, try tensing your ankles, then your calves, then your thighs, then your bum muscles. Midwife taught me that trick last time as I was frequently stuck on standing room only trains while commuting and twice almost flattened people by collapsing on them!

jaype Wed 15-Jul-09 19:31:17

Oops, meant to give you the reason for doing that - it squeezes blood back up...

RunningFaery Wed 15-Jul-09 20:23:13

Worry not! My BP is currently 80/40 and the midwife isn't the least bit concerned. She said my blood pressure was 'cute'.
As the others have said, just keep eating and drinking lots and perhaps take some ante-natal supplements. Also, remember to take it easy as working too hard will just make you dizzier and feel fainter.

SingingBear Wed 15-Jul-09 20:32:05

Message withdrawn

buktus Wed 15-Jul-09 20:42:53

I was always told to avoid eating bananas as they naturally lower you BP due to potassium in them i am always 90/50

SarahL2 Wed 15-Jul-09 21:28:05

I've been way too hot - especially over my bump!!

I haven't felt this endlessly awful since I was at uni and was quite underweight and not eating properly. Been eating loads though and trying to keep as much of it as possible healthy.

I definitely didn't ever feel this grotty when expecting DS and I had morning sickness till 20 weeks!! MS has mostly gone already this time but part of me would swap it for this low blood pressure as it was much easier to deal with. I did get Pre eclampsia with DS though. Wondering if it's likely I'll get it again...

Will avoid banana's - thanks buktus...

Thank you to everyone, everyone's advice is really helping

SarahL2 Thu 16-Jul-09 09:57:59

Well, so far this morning I have managed to drink a large glass of water/squash/fruit juice every hour since I've been up. I've eaten half a bowl of cereal and a bag of crisps and I've had my antenatal vits and a pro-biotic drink.

Still got a headache though and am very glad me and DS have nowhere to be today

princessmel Thu 16-Jul-09 10:41:26

You need to eat more than half a bowl of cereal. Go eat more now!.

Agree with the don't stand still for too long thing. I feel better walking rather than being still, at school gates, in a queue etc.

SarahL2 Thu 16-Jul-09 11:29:34

I was trying but the nausea won I'm afraid Hence the crisps about an hour later. It's almost lunchtime now. Am fancying some dairylea sandwiches and fruit...

Am still keeping up with the glass of water an hour <proud of myself emoticon> which is great but means I am in the loo every 5 minutes!! blush

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