Monday, 3 August 2015

High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy

If you follow me on Twitter or have seen my 36/37 week bump updates then you may have seen I was admitted to hospital for the night this week.

I'm currently suffering with high blood pressure in pregnancy (gestational hypertension) which effects an astounding 1 in 10 pregnant women.
This basically means that my heart is having to work extra hard to pump blood around the body to Squishy and I, and putting my body under extra stress and strain.
If my blood pressure is still high during labour I would have to be constantly monitored and possibly need help to deliver because it would be safer to keep labour as short as possible. I've also been told an epidural would be highly recommended to me as that can help lower blood pressure during labour but is something I'm hoping to avoid if possible.

Gestational hypertension typically develops after 20 weeks (before then it is likely that you had high blood pressure problems before falling pregnant) and the longer it goes on for the more dangerous it can be - possibly resulting in pre eclampsia which is a whole other story and can be very dangerous and potential fatal for mum and baby if left untreated.

I'm sure most of you are familiar with a standard blood pressure reading? Well it's the second/bottom (diastolic) number that seems to be my problem and is rocketing at over 110 - a normal reading would be 70-80. Pretty much any reading over 100 is a serious concern and something they would look to give you medication to control but because my blood pressure is very up and down and goes back down very quickly again they have held off until this point because I was on the borderline of concern if you like?

I must say my hospital don't seem to be the best at keeping me informed or explaining what is happening and why, which definitely worries me. I'm learning to ask more questions and make sure I feel completely informed now which has helped my anxiety a lot. All the midwives, care assistants and consultants that have looked after us have been absolutely lovely and more than happy to help with anything we needed.
They checked my blood pressure every 4hrs overnight to ensure it was going down now they have given me medication, took regular urine and blood samples and kept checking my pulse and temperature. They would regularly hook me up to the machine to monitor Squishy's heartbeat which was the most reassuring thing. Everything else is normal and my blood pressure has come under control so I'm allowed to go home.

I'm quite relieved to finally have some medication to help with this because for the last 4 weeks every time I see the midwife we go through the same process of my blood pressure being high, getting sent to the hospital for further tests, blood pressure goes down again, they send me home - so I feel like I'm being constantly passed from pillar to post with no real solution or answers.
Fingers crossed everything will calm down now and with the medication as long as my blood pressure stays within the healthy range the doctors are happy for me to go full term (or later). Worst case scenario is that my blood pressure will keep going up, even with the medication, and if that happens they will look to induce me but the doctor has said he'd be happier if I got to 38 weeks (so 4 more days from now!)

Have you experienced any problems with blood pressure during pregnancy? I'd love to hear about it & what the outcome was

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