If your Obstetrician tells you that your blood pressure (BP) is elevated, it is important, but don’t panic!
Around one in ten women in their first pregnancy will develop signs of pre eclampsia.
A woman’ s BP tends to go up towards the end of the pregnancy, so slight rises are not always pre eclampsia.
If your blood pressure is slightly elevated, your Obstetrician may ask you to have some blood tests and take one of our loan BP machines home to check your BP twice per day.
The blood tests look for changes in kidney and liver function, as well as changes in the blood itself that can occur before the BP becomes excessively high.
Your OGB Obstetrician may ask you to have an Ultrasound, as pre eclampsia can affect the function of the placenta, and growth of the baby.
If your BP is particularly high, your doctor may suggest admission to hospital for closer observation. The BP usually settles with rest, and you may be asked to start taking BP medication, such as Labetolol, Aldomet or sometimes Nifedipine. Each of these drugs are safe for use in pregnancy.
If you are worried about your BP, or have “spots & dots” in front of your eyes, headaches that don’t resolve with Panadol or rapidly increasing swelling, you should call your OGB Obstetrician or midwife.
But remember, most of the time, after a careful check over, you will be reassured & happily on your way!
- Dr Russell Dalton
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