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Low blood pressure?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

My BP is usually kind of low (~90/60) and I guess pregnancy can make it drop even more with hormones that relax the circulatory system and an increased volume of blood. Anyway, I've had a couple episodes of dizziness recently, to the point of needing to catch myself on something so I don't fall over. Usually it's when I stand up quickly, like if I'm doing laundry or picking something up of the ground. That's what leads me to believe the dizzy spells are related to BP rather than hunger or something else. I've never actually passed out or anything.


I'm trying to be diligent about drinking water, aiming to empty a 1.5L bottle each day in addition to 2-4c of herbal infusions and whatever else I may have to drink during the course of the day (juice, etc). I'm not restricting salt, as I've read that salting to taste during pregnancy can help keep BP up, but I'm not eating it straight from the shaker either. Any thoughts on what else might help?



post #2 of 18

I am the same way when I am pregnant. The nurses used to say... "Oh, you're one of those that we call the walking dead because your blood pressure is so low". Funny.

The dizzies always got better for me as the pregnancy went on. I just learned to stand up slower. Wish I had some better remedies for you.

post #3 of 18

I had some serious problems with low BP with my last pregnancy, I almost had to stop driving because I was getting dizzy on the road. In fact, a pregnant woman in my neighborhood with low BP passed out at the wheel and drove into the Costco!  She and the baby were fine.  It didn't really hit me until the 6 month or so, but when it did I came very close to passing out in a hallway with cement floors.  I was not eating much salt at all at the time, so I added a little here and there and really upped my protein.  Salted nuts or trail mix really helped.  I increased fluids, and stopped eating foods really high in potassium, like bananas.  The first 3 or so dizzy spells literally happened right after eating a banana.  

The only medical advice I really got was to get as close to the floor as possible when I got dizzy.  It was embarrassing, but I did have to sit or lay on the floor with my legs up a couple of times in class.  It seems the concern of falling and possibly hurting yourself or the baby outweighs the silliness of all of a sudden sitting down on the floor.  My dad (an MD) advised me to stop wearing skirts for a while in case I had to lay down with my legs up in public.  winky.gif

I hope this gets better for you soon.  Some women do "catch up" so to speak and feel better.  I think I did after a while because I don't remember feeling bad in the last couple of months.  Good luck!!

post #4 of 18

Yup - in pg I have what I call "are you still alive?" BP.  Probably better than the opposite problem, but still a PITA.  I'm having a problem recently in that I occasionally need to take an albuterol inhaler for asthma symptoms.  It works by dilating the passages in the lungs to let more air through and I'm pretty sure it's dilating my blood vessels, too.  Then I feel awful and dizzy and like I can't breathe AGAIN because my BP drops.  The first time it happened I was driving and I almost pulled over I felt so bad.  Happened again this morning, but I wasn't driving yet and after I laid down for a few minutes I felt a lot better.  Yuck.  I do think I need more salt, I probably need to get salted nuts for my nuts/dried fruit mix I snack on.  ATM, I'm snacking on tortilla chips because they're the only salty thing I have at work with me!

post #5 of 18

I'm just like you cielo - even in 'normal' circumstances, I am often asked, "Is your BP ALWAYS this low?" And yes, pregnancy does make it even lower. On a good note, probably none of us are candidates for preclampsia....


Ditto to everything above: stand up slowly, try not to bend over to pick things up (squat instead, or better yet get someone else to do it lol - my kids are already on automatic pilot with anything I drop!). Keep your salt intake up (normal, not overdone of course).

post #6 of 18

In my last pregnancy, it was standing that'd set me off - eventually I'd have to sit through the prayers at church even!  There were a few times at the chiro clinic that I'd have to lie down for 40 minutes while the interns worried about an emergency, but standing for the scans was just too much!  Closer to the floor with the knees up really does help!

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Looks like we have enough "walking dead" low BP mamas on here to start the zombie apocalypse, lol. Kind of nice to know it isn't so super rare. Great ideas about squatting, staying low to the ground...and thinking twice about skirts! Mamabeakley, I'm intrigued by what you said about albeuterol. I have asthma too, and while I haven't needed my rescue inhaler that often during this pregnancy I'm going to see if there's a correlation with the dizziness next time I have to use it.
post #8 of 18

cielo - Zombie mamas unite ;)

post #9 of 18

I'm a Zombie mama, lol. My usually low blood pressure gets even lower and I also struggle with low blood sugar that I have a tough time raising, so i have crazy bouts of dizziness and sometimes loss of vision, sweats, etc. It is especially lousy in public places, like the other day when I was trying to check out at the store and got dizzy and couldn't see for a minute while I was rummaging around in my purse with the three kiddos, and the checker was thinking that I was a total loon irked.gif

post #10 of 18

Wow, I have low BP too. My midwife said, "So you're barely alive."


The only way it's affected me is that sometimes it's tough for people to draw my blood. I've fainted before getting blood drawn, but this last time a few weeks ago was actually the best draw I'd ever had. The phlebotomist was very calm and kept me talking while I looked at the apartments across the street. I didn't even cry.


I haven't had any dizzy spells, but I'll be on the lookout. I probably wouldn't notice since I'm sitting most of the day. blush.gif

post #11 of 18

Count me in!  It is good to see that others are dealing with it too - no one seems to no how to handle us!

I have had so many fainting spells with my pregnancies (and many as a teen too) and no answer to what causes it. I assumed Low BP,  but wasn't able to have it taken when I was passing out. My typical BP at pre-natal appts is about 95/70 (even if I basically run to my appt, run up stairs, sit down and take it) and I have always gotten ' that is good' from both Dr's and midwives. (3 hospital births/2 homebirths) Now, preg. with baby 7, I borrowed my parents Blood Pressure monitor (dad had a bypass, etc.. and has to monitor it occasionally). 2 weeks ago I felt funny, like I needed to rest or do everything sitting down, not passing out, just funny feeling - so I took my BP and it was 68/50!!   Slowly throughout the day it rose, and finally was 'normal' by bed time.


I have always used plenty of salt, my non pregnant BP is about 110/80 and I just don't get it. It seems to be tied to a combination of iron level, protein and fluids. I'm almost 15 weeks and my first midwife appt is Monday, so I will see if I get any new ideas how to raise my BP.


Some tips if you have an "I'm going to pass out spell".... often things start to go dark, start sweating, sounds start to diminish etc... (once as a kid I could only see b&w - all color was gone!)

Fastest way to recover and get back to 'normal' if you really feel like you're going to pass out, is - of course lay down FAST - who cares what people think of you, and where you are (unless it's unsafe). It's much better than actually passing out and risking getting hurt. (yes, may want to give up mini skirts for now!) I've laid down in hallways, church, on tile floors, ICU rooms (not my own! lol..), in bathrooms - you name it. Any passer-by's will just have sympathy and ask if they can help..... say yes, have them go hunt down a drink for you!


Then, drinking something sweet - juice (a coke if you have to), and eat some carbs - crackers are easy to keep on hand.

As you're feeling better (eyesight, hearing etc, coming back) slowly prop self up on arm. If that goes OK. Slowly go to sitting. Sit for awhile before trying to get up, or you'll end up back laying on the floor.


If they need to draw blood - ask them to do it while you're laying down. Then they don't have to risk trying to haul you to a room as you are passing out on them! (been there done that!) but typically blood draws during pregnancy are easier because of the increased blood volume.


Good luck ladies, let me know if there is anything that helps you.

post #12 of 18

Rock on zombies!  I don't have quite such a low BP anymore (102/64) but its still low enough that people have asked if I have anemia when they take it.  Just goes to show that some thinngs are just plain average, but no one person is!  Exercising has helped keep me from going into the lower 90s this time, I think.  30 minutes, a couple times a week, whenever and whatever I can fit in you know!

post #13 of 18

Could totally explain why my vertigo hasn't stopped. It is normally low but it was lower then normal at my last appt. Silly midwife just said I was dehydrated... I bet it is BP and maybe some of the other...


Well I hope it gets better cause I move a lot chasing my other kids around all day

post #14 of 18

I'm one of the zombies too!  I typically end up in the 80/60 range, sometimes closer to 70/50.  My dad has super low blood pressure and he is overweight and salts EVERYTHING, so I know good DNA has a role here.  

Like everyone else I just try to stay hydrated and don't get up quickly.  Definitely had moments of blackness when I stand too fast, or days where I just feel like poo because I know it's super low.  But completely agree, too low is much nicer than far too high ; )

post #15 of 18

Oh man! Reading this is reassuring that I'm  not the only one going through this. I've been dizzy on and off this morning and like many of you, I think it's related to low blood pressure. My normal is pretty low, 100s/90s over 70s/60s. I also haven't been eating the best over the last few days as our kitchen was all out of sorts. Over the weekend we ended up pulling up old flooring and putting new stuff down. Our kitchen is teeny tiny to begin with, so the last few days, I haven't been able to cook a whole lot. I totally think this spell is food related and I've been trying to eat a ton more today after I connected all the dots. 


What else has worked for you ladies? And how long does it normally take you to start feeling better after a dizzy spell?

post #16 of 18

Well count me in for low BP. I have a heart issue though and have been passing my low BP off as related to that. I don't normally have very low BP. It is usually straddling the normal range on the low end, if that makes sense. The only time I have ever had someone mention to me it was consistently low was while pregnant.


Last time I was pregnant I had to get up slowly. First I'd hang my legs over the edge of whatever I was sitting or laying on. I'd wait there for about five seconds, then I'd stand. That pretty much always did the trick. I'm doing the same thing again this pregnancy. It helps with the blacking out and dizziness. The other thing I have done is I switched to high mineral salt (Himilayan). I previously had raw Celtic but I guess it wasn't enough?? I have always been a salt eater I never watched my intake on that but since switching to Himilayan I have increased it more and have noticed a difference in my BP being a bit higher. It is within range! and finally not in a place where it worries me.


Funny how many of us have this issue.

post #17 of 18

I can relate to what you posted, pink, about running to your appt and still being in the normal range - when my MW was here, I was having a crazy day (10 kids home at the time, and she showed up early so I was still cleaning up from breakfast, etc) - I was 95/75, and my pulse was racing, etc. It will be interesting to see where it is next appt when the kids are in school & it is quiet. I took it on a store machine and it was 80/60. Go figure.

post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
purposefuldoula, for me dizzy spells usually pass quickly, within a couple minutes at most. They do however seem to cluster, where I might have several on a given day and then none the next day.

Oh and on the topic of salt, I heard the most delicious idea on the radio today: vanilla salt. Same way you'd make vanilla sugar, just stuck a vanilla bean pod in a container of salt and let it sit for a few weeks to imbue its flavor. I'm sure it would work with other leathery herbs too, like maybe rosemary or lavender. The lady on the radio said the vanilla salt is great for baking, or I'm thinking it would be tasty on nuts, popcorn or granola; or in a salty/sweet vinegarette.
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