Check out ways to reduce blood pressure during pregnancy safely. Learn about the causes, signs, and symptoms of hypertension along with methods to treat it using medication, home remedies, acupressure among others.
Arterial hypertension during pregnancy in our days is registered more often. This is due to many factors. Increased blood pressure increases the risk of premature birth, complicates their course.
High Blood Pressure in pregnant women is the most common cause of maternal deaths during childbirth. Most women who experience this problem ask how to reduce blood pressure during pregnancy.
There are various options for treating hypertension and correcting the level of blood pressure. It is necessary to periodically measure blood pressure and, if it is increased, seek medical help immediately.
Causes of High Blood Pressure
There are many different theories of the development of arterial hypertension in pregnant women. However, not all of them are scientifically confirmed.
In most cases, the increase in the level of blood pressure is registered in women who before the pregnancy had the status of hypertension.
In some cases, symptomatic arterial hypertension, which develops against the background of diseases of other organs, is revealed.
A certain role in increasing the level of blood pressure is played by stressful situations and the corresponding reaction of the woman’s body. The more such situations, the higher the risk of developing hypertension and the occurrence of complications.
In the human body, there is a constant production of certain hormones and mediators. Depending on the balance of these substances and their interaction, the state of a person is also determined.
The pressor system includes sympathoadrenal, aldosterone and renin-angiotensin systems. The depressor system includes a calcein-kinin system and prostaglandins, which contribute to vasodilation.
Thus, if the effect of pressor systems prevails, the arterial pressure rises cardiac output increases and peripheral vascular resistance increases. All of which leads to thickening of the vascular wall.
Enhanced work of the heart leads to the development of cardiac muscle hypertrophy, and in the future to its relaxation and dilatation.
Also affected are the vessels of the kidneys, which leads to their ischemia, the angiotensin production increases even more and the blood pressure level increases.
In order to reduce blood pressure during pregnancy, it is necessary to find out the cause and eliminate it or to influence the pathogenetic links of the process.
Signs and Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
There are many clinical manifestations of high blood pressure in pregnant women.
Some of these signs and symptoms are as follows.
- Headaches and dizziness.
- General weakness and fatigue.
- It is possible to attach a feeling of nausea and vomiting.
- There may be pain in the chest.
- Sleep disturbances and an unreasonable sense of anxiety.
Quite often episodes of increasing blood pressure are not accompanied by clinical manifestations, which is very dangerous for the mother and the child.
Home Remedies to Reduce Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
Every pregnant woman who has had more than 2 cases of increasing blood pressure should consult a doctor and visit a health school. After a thorough examination, the doctor will be able to prescribe medication and give advice on the diet and exercise to prevent complications and premature births.
There are ways that you can use to reduce pressure during pregnancy at home. Some of these ways are as follows.
- A thumb or forefinger is pressed against the point in the occipital region of the head and held for about 10 seconds, after which it is released. After a break (up to 30 seconds), press down again on the point and hold.
- The ingestion of fresh juice of beets or birch will help to lower the level of arterial pressure. This method is used to prevent the occurrence of hypertensive crises.
- If the pressure rises, you need to squeeze the right hand and stretch the middle finger of the left hand, then vice versa.
- You cannot give a load to the eyes during a hypertensive crisis. So, refuse for a while from reading and watching TV.
- Doctors recommend following a diet that limits the intake of table salt to 5 grams per day. Also, it is necessary to increase the number of vegetables, fruits, dairy products and cereals in your diet. Be wary of chocolate products, do not use strong tea and coffee.
- A salad of fresh vegetables will help reduce blood pressure. So, include carrots, beets in raw form and cabbage in your diet.
- Normalization of sleep and rest. Sleep should be at least 10 hours a day to avoid blood pressure problems.
The above methods of reducing blood pressure should not be used without first consulting a doctor!
Indication of Severe Blood Pressure Problems
After a complete clinical and laboratory examination, if necessary, the doctor prescribes medical therapy. This includes a certain antihypertensive drug or a combination thereof.
There may be certain indications for the hospitalization of a pregnant woman in a hospital for treatment. Such indications are classified as absolute and relative.
- Absolute Indication
Absolute indication for hospitalization of a pregnant woman is an increase in the level of habitual blood pressure during pregnancy by 30 mm. gt.
Also, this group includes pathological changes from the central nervous system. In that case, it is urgent to begin parenteral administration of antihypertensive drugs.
- Relative Indication
Relative indications for hospitalization include ineffectiveness of the prescribed treatment with the help of antihypertensive drugs, attaching signs of gestosis or pathology of the placental system, the need for a survey to clarify the genesis of hypertension.
Medicinal Treatment to Reduce Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
Among all medicinal antihypertensive drugs, there is not a single harmless drug for the fetus of a pregnant woman. The effect of many substances on the growth and intrauterine development of the child has not been studied. There is a classification of antihypertensive drugs in terms of the degree of negative impact on the child, which includes 5 categories. These are as shown below.
- Begin hypotensive therapy recommended with safe drugs that do not affect the fetus in any way. However, they have a slight hypotensive effect. This includes aspirin, mineral magnesium, calcium, and gluconate. These drugs are classified as group A.
- Vitaminotherapy and some myotropic antispasmodics are used in the initial stages to reduce pressure in pregnant women.
- In the first trimester of pregnancy, methyldopa and hydrochlorothiazide are allowed. These drugs are classified in category B. An experimentally established harmless effect on the fetus of the animal, studies on pregnant women have not been conducted.
Methyldopa should be taken at 250 mg. per day, gradually increasing the dose. However, it is not recommended to take the drug at week 16 of pregnancy, since it is possible to have an adverse effect on the nervous system of the fetus.
- If preparations of category B do not give the expected effect, then resort to the appointment of calcium antagonists. They belong to group C. Apply only if the therapeutic effect exceeds the risk to the fetus. They include verapamil nifedipine, amlodipine.
Do not simultaneously prescribe nifedipine and magnesium sulfate, since there is a risk of developing an uncontrolled hypotensive state.
- Beta-blockers are classified as Category C. They do not have a teratogenic effect, but they can lead to a delay in fetal development of the fetus and a violation of its adaptive mechanisms in the future. The most selective and safe preparation of this group is bisoprolol in a dosage of 10 mg per day or labetalol.
- If all the above-mentioned drugs do not have the desired effect and the blood pressure of the pregnant woman is still high, a drug of central action, clonidine, is prescribed. Refers to Clonidine C drugs category C. You can start in the third trimester.
- Diuretics are prescribed only according to strict indications, in particular, hypothiazide (refers to class B), since the volume of circulating blood does not increase with the use of this drug. There is also a high risk of developing electrolyte disorders and kidney dysfunction.
Coping With Hypertensive Crisis in Pregnant Women
If the level of arterial pressure in a pregnant woman is higher than 170 by 110 mm Hg, then, in this case, immediate medical correction is required. For this use such drugs:
- Initiate therapy with hydralazine at a dose of 5 mg, administered intravenously or 10 mg – by intramuscular route. If no effect is observed, then after 20 minutes, the medicament is again administered in the same dosage. After lowering the pressure, repeat the injection after 3 hours.
- In the absence of effect after taking hydralazine, it is necessary to use labetalol in a dose of 20 mg. Administered intravenously or intramuscularly, then re-enter 40 mg after 10 minutes and 80 mg after another 10 minutes. If the pressure does not decrease, you need to switch to another drug.
- Nifedipine is taken twice at an interval of 30 minutes in the form of a tablet in a dosage of 10 mg.
- If there are signs of encephalopathy, then prescribe sodium nitroprusside at a dosage of 5 mg per 1 kg per minute. The drug should be administered no more than 4 hours.
- A solution of magnesium sulfate in a concentration of 25% is administered 20 ml intravenously. It is used as an anticonvulsant and for the prevention of preeclampsia.
Pregnant women are categorically contraindicated in taking angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor antagonists!
No matter how much you know or learn about ways to reduce blood pressure during pregnancy, you are not to do anything before consulting with your doctor. Always consult with your specialist first and adhere to his advice.