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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some advice here-

I'm 28 weeks

I just went for my check-up today and my blood pressure was high- 138/90. The last time I was there it was 140/90 as well. Then it dropped to 128/88 after I had rested from running down the hall because I was late. I get very nervous when I am at the dr.s office- my blood pressure is never that high when I am at my homebirth midwife's checks- it was 130/85 I think.

I just checked it at home (I went and bought a blood pressure monitor) and it was 133/80.

I was just wanting some info on blood pressure and pregnancy. Is it normal for BP to get higher during pregnancy? My pre-preg. BP was around 110/65- then at my first dr.s office visit (12 weeks pg) it was 130/80.

I haven't had any protein in my urine or swelling. I had a couple headaches before I quit my job but haven't in a while.

I guess I just want someone to tell me that BP on the high side is (can be) ok- or that there is something I can do to help lower it. I already eat as good a diet as my budget will allow- not much refined sugar, moderate salt, high protein. I am taking Rainbow Light food-based prenatals. I just started taking iron too cause I was craving ice- I don't think my iron is really "low" though.

Is there anything else I can do or is there some sort of underlying reason my BP may be high that I should get checked?

Anyone else have higher BP and still have a good outcome? I really don't want to have to give birth in the hospital- I am paying quite a bit for a homebirth and it is what I desperately want.

Thanks for your help!
 

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If your pre-preg blood pressure is only 110/65 then even your at home bp is quite high and certainly high enough to warrent further investigation. the guidline is generally that the upper # be no higher than 20 above your baseline and the lower # should be no higher than 10 above your baseline.
I don't know that this would risk you out of a homebirth--I've been on meds to control my bp since 14 weeks and while I am monitored extremely closely for that, I don't think it's one of my risk factors for delivery--unless it turns into pre-e.
You likely should have a 24 hr urine done and some blood work. Home monitors can be less than accurate, so next time you go in--take it with you and measure with your monitor and the doctors monitor at the same time, this will tell you whether or not your monitor reads the same as your doc's (or your midwife's)
Please do not take this lightly. There is a sticky thread at the top of this forum with tons of information on pre-e. It was started by a mom who lost her daughter and almost her own life too due to pre-e that was not taken seriously.
 

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i had bp issues in the early weeks of my pregnancy. but only at the doctor's office -- and every time i went to the dr's office. so i borrowed my in-laws' home bp machine and took my bp 2-3 times a day for a month. i took what i recorded to my doctor to show her what the bp is at home vs at her office. she said the spike must be due to stress and that she'd continue to "keep an eye on it." since i started tracking it at home, and have stopped worrying about it so much, it's gone down even at the dr's office.

good luck with your bp. i'd suggest tracking yours at home, writing it down, and taking it to show your dr. plus, that way if your bp is truly high, not just at the dr's office, you'll know early enough to get to a hospital in case of a true emergency.
 

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I had white coat induced hypertension with my last pg. it was quite stressful.

I took hawthorne berry tincture for about 6 weeks and it helped me a bit. (or at least I felt it helped my BP stay managable) make sure whomever is taking your BP is doing it correctly too. (you should be sitting, with your arm at their hip level and make sure the BP cuff fits corectly)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks you guys! I really appreciate all the help! I am starting not to worry so much because I've been taking my BP tonight and it is staying around 125/80. I am going to monitor it closely at home. I definately think I have white-coat anxiety- I get so nervous I can hardly breathe (it feels a lot like a panic attack) as soon as I get close to their office. I think my baseline of 100/65 may have been because I was really relaxed when I had it taken- I didn't have as much to worry and get nervous about before I was pg ya know... I think I may just be freaking myself into a panic when I go to the dr. because I want so bad to breeze through this pregnancy and not have to worry about going to the hospital (which would give me a major panic attack- I can't imagine I would be able to labor and make progress there).

I will definately check more into pre-e. Is higher blood pressure always related to pre-e or can you just have pregnancy induced hypertension???

I am about to check out Pam's link- thanks you guys!
 

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Jen, you can definitely have pregnancy induced hypertension--however, it still really needs to be taken seriously. My biggest worry for you is that however relaxed you were before your pregnancy at the doctor when you got a reading of 110/65, you are still now sitting with a diastolic level 15 higher when you are relaxed at home, your level relaxed at home should at least be as low as your level relaxed at the doctor--KWIM?? Blood work and a 24 hour urine certainly wouldn't hurt.
I understand not wanting to worry too much and I understand your wanting a homebirth, but you're better off safe than sorry.
White Coat Syndrome is very real--however, even without the white coat, you still have a significantly higher bp now than you did pre-pregnancy.
Sorry, maybe I'm taking over for Gossamer as the pre-e watchdog while she's away
 

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My BP starting creeping up during my last pregnancy around 28 weeks. Like you I was a bit nervous about the whole thing. I did develop PE towards the end of my pregnancy.
I started taking my BP at home, and sometimes it was fine, but then other times it was not. I spilled no protein and I even did the 24 hour test. I also had no swelling at all. However I did get light headed, have headaches, see snow and sometimes I thought I would see fire flies shooting by.
I did several things to try to prevent my BP from getting higher but I was not successful. I increased protein, calcium and something else that escapes me right now. I was also doing the Brewer diet.
I think you should just watch it, keep taking it at home if you are able too and just rest. If it gets elevated, just lay down on your left side for awhile. And also read Pam's link! Whatever you do just don't cut out salt and drink lots of h2o.
 

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your white coat hypertension would be the number it jumps up to when the care providers were taking your BP-138/90. . 135/80...
I strongly encourage you to read the links that pam sent the stuff at the gentle birth archives.
You are still having a rise from baseline 110/65, this warrants watching because often resting bps even of sick people will be lower that day time sitting bp.
the preeclampsia sticky is something else that has been recommended and it is a good idea to read the info there as well.
 

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During my pregnancy with my dd, I could have written your message. My normally very conscientious midwife didn't see my slowly rising numbers as a cause for alarm at first, because my BP was so low pre-pregnancy and the higher numbers were still in the range of normal. I started to actually *feel* the change in pressure around 28 weeks, and told my midwife I just felt funny. I felt like my heart was racing. I remember sitting on the couch and asking my husband to take my pulse.

By the time I got to 33 weeks or so, my midwife started to take notice and asked me to be careful about water and eating enough protein, etc.

By the time I got to 36 weeks, it was at 140/85. My baseline is something like 105-110/60-65. Urine tests in my midwife's office showed no protein.

At 38 weeks, it was around 145/90. They made me do the 24 hour urine test and I was still not spilling protein. In my last month, I didn't gain an ounce of weight -- so they kept ruling out pre-eclampsia.

The day I went into labor, I was at 165/90. My midwife and her consulting doctor said it was too high to be safe and I needed my labor to move along quickly. I was "augmented" with pitocin. In labor, my BP was 197/115. After delivery, it went back down to 160/85 and didn't budge until I went on blood pressure medication. Six weeks postpartum, I went off the medication and my BP stayed down.

Despite the many checks for pre-e during pregnancy and in the days after delivery, I never tested positive. My midwife said it was just "gestational hypertension." I'm watching it very carefully this time, and I'm going to try the following:

-regular exercise (walking, but even better, swimming when possible)
-regular reiki sessions (I have a good friend who does it)
-working part time the last month before baby is born
-regular hammock time once it's warm outside

I hope this helps a little. Not everyone who has high BP in pregnancy has pre-eclampsia -- which does NOT mean you shouldn't keep ever-vigilant for the signs of pre-e, but just that sometimes, it's something else.
 

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I had high bp during my pregnancy with DD. It was mostly white-coat -- every reading in the mw's office from about 30 weeks on was high -- but it did measure high at home a few times (I got a cuff and measured every couple of hours and kept a log, so I could show the mws when I saw them).

I had no protein in my urine or other symptoms of pre-eclampsia. I had twice-a-week non-stress tests from about 36 weeks. DD was born naturally in a birth center at 39 weeks...when I got to the birth center after 12 hrs of labor I was 8 cm dilated but my bp was high so they would not let me walk around. I think the birth would have gone faster if I could have walked (which they allowed me to do later, after my water broke) but in the end I was fine and DD was fine. My BP was back to normal 2 weeks after her birth.

With this current pregnancy I had been running at least 10 miles a week...but now I'm pregnant and it's freezing cold here, so that's not happening! However, I do plan to start walking in the spring and get fit again ... and try to eat better (once the m/s and weird food cravings go away...at least I'm hoping they go away!)

HTH,
Nancy
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks you guys! I will definately keep a close check on it (I'm checking my BP every few hours or so) and I'm trying to eat LOTS of protein and calcium and such. I read the gentlebirth links- thanks for them! I am going to try doing some of the things they suggest. It is good to know there are things that can be done to help- I will at least give them a try.

I guess I am still worried because it seems like I am "destined to be pre-e". I want so badly it just to be preg. induced hypertension or because I am sick or something.

I was wondering what are my chances of developing pre-e just because I have elevated blood pressure?

***Also I was wrong about my baseline- It was 120/70 in my family dr.s charts. I think the lower number from the other Dr. was because I had been on some meds.

It seems like my BP is staying around 125/80 or so at home- fluctuating- sometimes as low as 110/65 sometimes as high as 129/87. It seems to depend on the time of day and my activity and stress levels most. I have quit working but am still going to college full-time.

I just want so badly not to end up in a hospital situation playing it safe with a ton of interventions because my BP is slightly raised.

So do you think I have a chance of it just being a little high and staying a little high or is it pretty probable that I will get pre-e?
 

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the only way to efficiently determine if there is pre-eclampsia is to do bloodwork. sometimes pregnancy-induced hypertension is labeled pre-eclampsia, but it's not.

There is a newer thought that the old 10/15 above your baseline diastolic (bottom number) is no longer as valid with pregnant women. We expect to see a rise in bp at the end of pregnancy, though it's usually in the last month. It sounds like your'e right on target and definitely within the realm of what is normal for you.
(Our BP fluctuates during the day and I'd definitely being taking my bp only with the same cuff or monitor. Are you heavy at all? If you are, and your doc is not using a large cuff, this erroneously skews the readings, too)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks Pam! You're the best! I am doing back to my back-up midwife's office next week so maybe they will do bloodwork if it is too high. I am glad to hear that my home BP's are in the normal range. I was worried that maybe the cuff I bought- manual inflating, digital reading wasn't as accurate or something.

I'm pretty average as far as weight goes (125 pre-preg. 5'4) now 141. But I did notice that instead of the nurse taking my BP by hand they are using an auto-inflating digital cuff/monitor system. It seems like my BP has been reading higher since they started using it.

I feel relieved but will continue to watch it closely. oh, I want a homebirth so bad- I hope my BP will stay low enough for that to happen!
 
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