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High Blood Pressure -- HELP!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

So I am 33 weeks.  This is my 5th baby and (I am hoping) my 4th homebirth.  I had my prenatal examine yesterday and my BP is 136 over 84.  The last couple visits I have been trending up -- 128 over 74 and before that 124 over 76.  My midwife has been very calm about the situation, in fact, she hasn't really mentioned it until this visit.  I have never had anything close to HBP in pregnancy or anytime else.  I don't believe the top number gets over about 110...... ever.  My blood pressure reading  4 visits ago was 96 over 54.  That number is typical.


So my midwife asked me to have my BP checked in about a week.  She said we don't want 140 over 90 or more.  I asked about what I could do to help and she was very...... vague.  She mentioned something about eating protein and generally trying to take care of myself.  Can I help this situation or do I just have to wait and see what my body does?  My husband and I thought reducing my sodium couldn't hurt -- I eat lots of salty foods cheese, bacon, you name it. We also thought drinking more water? I have read cucumbers can help???  Garlic??  I will eat lots of protein.  Do I need to exercise more?  Or should I concentrate on resting?  I have varicose veins on my left side... I am wearing my compression stocking (even though they itch like CRAZY).  The swelling really goes down when I wear them faithfully and I am sure it improves blood flow, although I don't know if this translates into helping my BP.  


Does this make sense?  Is there anything else I should be doing?  Should I not be doing any of these things?  Does it matter what I do?  Am I just making myself crazier?  I am a bit panicky about not birthing at home.  Please, any help.

post #2 of 11

Below is a list of suggestions forwarded to me by my midwife when there was some concern about my blood pressure. I have "white coat syndrome", which means that any time anyone "medical" comes at me with a blood pressure cuff, my blood pressure spikes, especially the top number. At my first visit with her and my first visit with a new primary care doc - both in the same time frame - my bp was 139/70. After that, I got my own cuff to monitor it myself at home several times a day for a couple of weeks, and found that my bp readings were totally normal at home. After doing that at home, my bp readings at the midwife's office are totally normal too - somewhere in the range of 110 to 125 for the top number and 60 to 70 for the bottom. If you think this might be an issue for you too and have access to a cuff at home (or at CVS/Walmart/Target/grocery store/etc) you might want to check a couple of times and see if you get the same readings.


Anyway, perhaps some of the suggestions below will be of help to you. hug2.gif


Avoid Stimulants: spicy or peppery food, black tea, cola drinks, coffee,


Drink Raspberry Leaf and Nettle and Dandelion tea

Exercise every day

Garlic Oil Capsules: 2-10 capsules a day

Cucumbers 1 large a day

Juice of ½ lemon or lime plus two teaspoons of cream of tartar in ½ cup taken once a day
for three days

100 grams of protein per day

Salt to taste

1000 grams calcium per day

Take in a minimum of 2400 calories per day

Raw beet juice up to 4oz per day or shred a beet and an apple together and eat

100mg vit. B6 with a high potency B complex supplement

3 Tbsp. Spirulina per day

post #3 of 11

Has she ordered  a 24 hour urine for protein yet? If not, I would request one, just to get a baseline. If your BP is normally low, and is creeping up, it doesn't have to get to 140/90 to be preeclampsia. So knowing if/what your spilling for protein is really important. And even if your not spilling any on the little dip stick tests, you still could be over the course of 24 hours. I'm 32 weeks now, was diagnosed with pre-e at 29w after my BP went up a little and was spilling more protein in my 24hour tests, and I never once have had even trace protein on the dip sticks. I think that's the most important step at this point, knowing where your're at and keeping an eye on it in case you are heading towards pre-e, you'll want to catch it quick so it can hopefully be managed.


P.S. I have white coat syndrome too, always have, which is why my midwife was watching me really close right from the start. My BP never went up much higher than my typical white coat numbers when I developed the pre-e, only my protein, so had she not been so on the ball with monitoring me early, it could have been missed for a while! Luckily she caught it like, probably the week it hit me, so I was lucky and my little one is healthy and still baking with very careful management!

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for the immediate replies!  I am having a hard time and just hearing your voices helps.


I probably do not have white coat syndrome, as I have never had high blood  pressure readings during any of my pregnancies (or anytime.)  I hope to be able to remain calm during future readings........ I have never had anxiety about BP before but now.......mmmm....a little nervous.


The list of suggestions is nice to have.  I need instructions to feel  like I can "do something."  If nothing helps then, I guess there is nothing I can do but at least I know I tried.  


Is trying to limit my sodium best??  It seemed to make sense -- especially if I think of my diet -- but am reading info to the contrary like "don't limit salt."  Don't get me wrong, my diet is not a disaster.  Overall I eat good foods.  Whole foods.  I am not overweight.  Before pregnancy my weight is usually about 110 - 112.  I do gain a lot with my babies .  I have for every one.  35lbs with my first.  Over 40lbs with my second.  Creeping close to 50lbs with #3.  With my girl, I stayed under 30lbs.  I have gained about 35lbs so far this time.  


I will talk to my midwife about the 24 hour urine test..... I have not had one.....just pee on the sticks at the visits.

post #5 of 11

I think there's good salt and bad salt-- try to avoid processed foods that are high in sodium, but I think they're trying to say don't avoid adding salt to foods as needed-- usually in the form of sea salt I think is best. 


The above list of suggestions sounds good. A lot of it depends I think on why the BP is high. I would keep an eye on it, and try those techniques- likely they will help and it will be nothing. But if it doesn't start to go down again, then yes, I would start to pay attention to other signs for pre-e. 

post #6 of 11

I have white coat syndrome, and whenever I used to go to the OB I got 140/80 because I was so nervous.

These last few visits my BP has been good (according to my OB) 120/80 and 122/70 because I haven't been stressing over it as much.



post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

I am eating a cucumber as I write this post.  


I checked my BP at Wal Mart today and I got........ 128/72 .  Yay!!  I plan on implementing as many of the ideas as possible and hopefully (cross fingers) my BP will keep dropping.



post #8 of 11

128/72 is a great reading, especially for when you're out & about! I was soooo sick of cucumbers by the time I had DD!

post #9 of 11

I have also read that lying down on your left side for an hour twice a day-take a break in the morning and afternoon idea...will help improve blood flow to the placenta at the very least.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

I am definitely doing this.  Lying down on my left side......that is pretty simple.  I switched sides on my bed about 3 nights ago so I could primarily sleep on my left side (except for when I need a break because that hip starts to ache!).  I know "they" tell you it is best to lay like this...... but honestly, I never really paid attention because my pregnancies are pretty uneventful.  My little girl was thrown off by her position change in the bed, but as long as she is facing me.....she's OK!

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

Oh...... also, I was going to ask:  after I do the lemon/lime and cream of tartar concoction for three days....... do I wait a couple days and do it again?  A week? Is it a one time shot to my BP that I should not do again?

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