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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have suggestions on how to manage blood pressure? My BP had held steady at 120/75 for the past 4 months and my doc was super happy with that, but I haven't been feeling so hot the past couple of days so I took it today and it was 160/90. I called my OB and she sent me to the hospital for a bunch of tests. There's no protein in my urine and baby is doing fine, so they sent me home with an appointment with a high-risk OB on Thursday. I really don't want to change doctors, or be labeled as high-risk.


I've been swimming twice a week, started following the Bradley diet (mostly), and taking extra Vitamin D. Any other ideas? I've been googling but have not had much luck.
 

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That's a REALLY high blood pressure. Being labeled high risk will get you more attentive care, which with blood pressure like that, you really should have.

How many weeks are you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I realize that I don't have much of a choice but to change doctors, I just feel like my chances of having the kind of birth I want are much slimmer now.

I'm only 24 weeks, so I'm really hoping to be able to keep my BP under control somehow. I've been resting all day and it's down to 135/76, which is a step in the right direction but I want to do everything I can to help myself.
 

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Up front I just want to say: I am super low-intervention and not alarmist, and I don't write this comment to scare you. And I totally understand where you're coming from with not wanting to be labeled high-risk.

But I just had my baby at 33 weeks because of eclampsia: I went into tonic-clonic seizures with basically no warning. I never spilled protein, didn't puff up, etc. I had blown off a previous incidence of high BP because it went down to the "high end of normal" later in the appointment.

I try not to second-guess what happened (I'm healthy, my baby is healthy, what else really matters?) but I do sometimes wonder: if I had taken that high BP reading seriously, would I maybe have gone on some kind of medication that would have controlled my BP and let me be pregnant longer? No, I probably wouldn't have gotten my home waterbirth at that point, but maybe I would have gotten a vaginal birth, even if it had to happen in a hospital. Probably not great odds, but maybe.

I don't know. I just - I totally know where you're coming from! But with 20/20 hindsight, I kind of wish I had paid more attention to the signs my body was giving me.

Hugs. I know it's hard and weird.

ETA: in re-reading, I worry that I come off as sounding scaremongerish. I really, really don't mean to. I offered the above only because I was trying to say - you know, even if your BP isn't great, getting more medical care doesn't have to be terrible: it might help you have a long and healthy pregnancy! But I hope for you that you find low-intervention ways to control your BP.
 

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After a c/s for failed induction due to PIH, I controlled my bp with diet and exercise in my last two pregs. In both near the end I've had to cut out wheat and sugar and eat tons of protein. I also tried some remedies in the Susun Weed Wise Woman Herbal for the Child-bearing Year. I was fully prepared to take labetalol rather than consent to a repeat c/s.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm definitely considering medication as a way to help keep it under control, especially if it could allow me a better chance of getting to term and going in to labour on my own. I don't think anyone is coming off as scaremongerish; if anything, it's helping me take my rest orders more seriously. I'm mostly sitting down so I was kind of miffed when bedrest was suggested. But, it's only until Thursday and it's a small sacrifice if it can help out.

I will have to pick up Susun Weed's book. I keep hearing good things about it! I'll also see if cutting out some carbs this week will help at all.

Thanks for the support, mamas! It means a lot.
 

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Accupuncture, a good cal/mag supplement(with equal if not more mag than cal), lots of time in the water...all of these helped me a lot when mine started to creep up.
 

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I second the acupuncture recommendation - it can be especially effective if they use the little electrode thingies (have no idea what they are really called).

FWIW, my bp never went down while I was sitting on my bum "resting" in my first preg. I walked and walked and walked to bring it down in my 2nd and 3rd pregs.
 

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Also 160/90 isn't "really high". It's higher than they like to see and def a warning sign, but mine got up to 160/100 before anyone got to talking about induction.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by elisheva View Post
Also 160/90 isn't "really high". It's higher than they like to see and def a warning sign, but mine got up to 160/100 before anyone got to talking about induction.
160/100 with the presence of protein in the urine is severe preeclampsia. Prolonged blood pressures that high can restrict blood flow to the fetus and cause growth restriction, in addition to increasing the risk of placental abruption and maternal stroke or seizure.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by elisheva View Post
After a c/s for failed induction due to PIH, I controlled my bp with diet and exercise in my last two pregs. In both near the end I've had to cut out wheat and sugar and eat tons of protein. I also tried some remedies in the Susun Weed Wise Woman Herbal for the Child-bearing Year. I was fully prepared to take labetalol rather than consent to a repeat c/s.


Sometimes there isn't that option - I was on increasingly higher doses of Labetalol when my BP got to 190/100s while on mag. sulfate and bedrest in the hospital. At 34 weeks, we couldn't wait for me to go into labor naturally, and couldn't be induced. Repeat c/s was the only choice, and I was relieved that my baby was delivered before any permanent damage was done (though I still have severe headaches and visual disturbances more than 10 months since they began, despite my BP going back to normal).

I couldn't be induced in my first pregnancy because at 32 weeks and worsening symptoms, the doctor felt there wasn't enough time to wait for an induction to work. As it was, my son had to be resuscitated at birth.
 

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A one-time measurement of 160/90 with no other symptoms is no reason to panic. I had this very similar scenario last week and was transfered to the hospital for testing. The OB said to come back for an u/s in a couple weeks to check on the baby because my blood pressure ended up lowering on its own shortly.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by GuavaGirl View Post
Based on what a couple of you have mentioned, how are sugar, carbs, wheat, etc. related to BP?
I honestly have no clue. I ate hardly any wheat or sugar my 2nd preg (was tracking my blood sugar and found I reacted to wheat but not other grains like spelt). I never had trouble with my bp in that preg. In my 3rd preg I was less careful and bp went up at the end. I cut wheat and sugar again and my bp dropped. No clue about the physiology.
 

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I hope everything works out O.K. for you Mama.


The one thing I wanted to add, is that my bp is normally 100/60. It's been that way basically since I first had it measured as a teen. A few months ago, I was at my endocrinologist and the NP took my bp and it was 160/something. That seemed really strange to me, so I did two things:
1) Asked her if she was using the right size cuff (I'm kind of borderline on needing the larger cuff)

2) Had her take it again

If that reading is not normal for you, I would insist on them at least repeating it... and preferably, a different person doing the measuring. Just to be sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update: Today my blood pressure is back down to 121/72. I feel pretty good about that. I'm sure they'll still want to keep a close eye on me, but at least it's down for now. I made Susun Weed's lemon juice and cream of tartar drink and ate lots of garlic and beets. I have no idea if that helped but I'm sure it can't do any harm.

Also, they called to confirm my appointment and apparently it is with my regular OB, but at the high-risk clinic. Maybe she wants to do another NST? I'm a little confused but I guess everything will be explained on Thursday.

Quote:

Originally Posted by elisheva View Post
I honestly have no clue. I ate hardly any wheat or sugar my 2nd preg (was tracking my blood sugar and found I reacted to wheat but not other grains like spelt). I never had trouble with my bp in that preg. In my 3rd preg I was less careful and bp went up at the end. I cut wheat and sugar again and my bp dropped. No clue about the physiology.
If my bp goes up again I may have to try that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
umsami: I am chubby so I always make sure that they use the large cuff on me! The high readings were from a home blood pressure monitor with the regular cuff. That's why I called the OB at first, just to find out if I should come in to have it double-checked. But they sent me to the hospital instead. The nurse took my blood pressure there, and got a different reading on each arm (right: 150 over something, left: 130 over something). I was there for a while so I was sure someone would come take it again, but they didn't. They have asked me to take it a few times a day and write it down. I went to the pharmacy and they fitted me for a cuff so I now have the proper size (medium). When they tested it at the pharmacy, bp was 164/92. Today with the same machine and same cuff, my readings have been in the 120s/70s. I was thinking that it might have just been my machine or cuff at first but the numbers are all over the place. If they get weird readings again on Thursday I will definitely ask them to take it again!
 

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I had high blood pressure in between my 1st and 2nd baby and was put on a med to control it, mine went away for some reason during my 3rd pregnancy.I think what worked for me was increasing garlic and fish oil.I also make sure that both feet are on the floor when they take my BP.I was put with the high risk OBs for my 2nd and 3rd pregnancy.I was induced for my 2nd because they felt I had low fluids and because I had a doula I was able to do it without drugs.With my 3rd I asked if I could keep seeing my family practice Dr unless my BP actually started showing signs of problems and would have delivered with my FP Dr if DD had waited a couple of hours.
 
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