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I've got a friend who is about 13 weeks pregnant who is worried about high blood pressure - has a history of, etc. She is currently with an OB's office and doesn't want to be forced into early induction because of high BP (just happened with a mutual friend). What can she do to help lower her BP? TIA!
 

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hmmm, I just wrote about this on my blog (see the link in my siggy).

Does she currently have high blood pressure or was this something that happened in her last pregnancy at the very end?

If she's with an OB, her chances of avoiding an induction because of rising blood pressure is nearly impossible.
 

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my midwife just suggested to me taking 1gm of calcium a day to start. She says that it is helpful. I had relatively high bp at the end of my last pregnancy. Nothing over 140/90, but enough to cause concern in my hb midwife this time.
 

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Calcium can slow onset of labor. Just something to be aware of.
We've had several folks on herbs- I was on hawthorn- talk to your mw or do some herbal research about it. Most OB's think it's bunk.... depends on the provider of course.
Good diet can't be emphasized enough, and certainly won't hurt even if it alone doesn't stop the BP issues.
Read lots and find some of your own info, don't just wait for the doc. So many of them don't do anything preventative for BP. I have a good riend with a good doc, he just doesn't try to stop her bp from what I can tell. She gets it every time & gets induced. Her births go well so he doesn't rock the boat. (From an outsider & anti-induction view... but she's happy & he deals with other issues she's had well)
 

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i had high BP in my first pg, and knew i was at risk for it ahead of time - i had had high BP while on the pill, and my mother had pre-eclampsia with me.

i had high BP in the first trimester and went to see a perinatologist twice. he advised me based on inconclusive research studies at the time to take calcium, vitamin c, vitamin e, and a baby aspirin. the aspirin was only in the first trimester to promote vascularization of the placenta.

2nd trimester, my BP went back to normal. started care with normal OBs. did one extra u/s around 28 or 30 weeks maybe? to establish a baseline for IUGR.

3rd trimester - continued light exercise, and i committed to getting 80-100g per day of protein and basically following the brewer diet. did great with this until about the last month - maybe i was slacking off on the diet, maybe it was just changes at the end of pregnancy...

37 weeks - first high BP reading since 1st trimester. showed protein in urine and blood tests. OBs advised discontinuing all household chores and exercise, and lying in bed on my left side for 4 extra hours a day. i also recommitted to getting sufficient protein at that time.

38 weeks - all readings back to normal, but OBs were on the alert... i saw them twice a week from then on and alternated doing NSTs and BPPs to check that this wasn't affecting the baby. also did weekly blood tests.

while things did start to look better, the OBs were a little nervous and made it sound like any little rise would make them want to induce. luckily, everything stayed fine! after 40 weeks, they asked me to schedule an induction date. they knew i really, really, really didn't want to be induced, so i did manage to put them off twice - scheduled and then rescheduled for later. at that point i started doing acupuncture to help get me ready for labor. i went into labor at 41w0d, had him 6 hours later at 41w1d
i had an induction date scheduled for 41w3d at that point.

if she feels she needs to stay with the OBs (i did, because i was scared because of my high risk of pre-eclampsia) then i would advise getting into very serious dialogue with the OBs about how they handle situations like hers, and try to advocate for herself and her baby with a lot of conviction and knowledge! she can be proactive in treating her high blood pressure, and who knows, she may not have it still at the end, or maybe it will be minor enough that it will be easy for her to stand her ground about not being induced. i would also recommend taking a good natural childbirth class and hiring a doula - i knew i would work with a doula because i wanted the extra support if i needed an induction, but i also appreciated her support in not even getting to that point! all in all, i did not like the experience of working with the OBs and birthing in a hospital, and i am doing it all differently this time! but if she does choose to go that way, she doesn't need to resign herself completely to their standard model of care. good luck to her!
 
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