What is Low Blood Pressure?
Low blood pressure also known as hypotension, is a blood pressure value of less than 90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) for the top number (systolic) or 60 mm Hg for the bottom number (diastolic).
What one individual considers to be low blood pressure may be deemed normal by another. Low blood pressure might produce no symptoms or it can induce dizziness and fainting. It can be fatal in some cases.
Low blood pressure can be caused by anything from dehydration to significant medical issues. It is critical to determine what is causing low blood pressure so that it may be addressed if necessary.
In this piece, we’ll discuss the symptoms of low blood pressure during pregnancy, as well as home treatment options to prevent or manage it.
What Is Low Blood Pressure in Pregnancy?
Whether you check your own blood pressure or have your doctor do it, you may notice it’s lower than usual in the first trimester. This is normal within the first 24 weeks.
Normal blood pressure – Below 120 mmHg systolic (top number) over 80 mmHg diastolic (bottom number).
Low blood pressure – Below 90 mmHg systolic (top number) over 60 mmHg diastolic (bottom number).
Blood pressure is the pressure of your blood against vessel walls as your heart pumps. Although there’s a healthy range, it’s normal for your blood pressure to fluctuate throughout the day. For example, it may temporarily increase if you get excited.
Blood pressure is a health indicator. In pregnancy, if it is abnormally high, it may indicate preeclampsia. Low blood pressure is connected to fewer problems. However, being too low may be harmful to both you and your baby.
10 Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure in Pregnant Women
If you don’t want to wait until your next prenatal checkup, you can get one at a drugstore, or online.
You might not realize you have low blood pressure until you see bodily changes. Low blood pressure symptoms during pregnancy include:
- Lightheadedness /Dizziness (either when sitting or standing up)
- blurred vision
- Dehydration or excessive thirst
- difficulty concentrating
- clammy or pale skin
- Shallow or rapid breathing
If you experience any of these signs, contact your doctor.
Causes of Low Blood Pressure
During the first 12 weeks, your blood pressure may decrease and remain low throughout the first and second trimesters.
One explanation might be that your blood vessels dilate to carry blood to your uterus, influencing your circulatory system. Other non-pregnancy reasons can also lower blood pressure.
- Staying in a hot bath for too long— Pregnant women should avoid spending more than 10 minutes in water that is hot enough to increase their body temperature over 102.2°F.
- Medication—Be careful to notify your doctor about any medications you’re taking.
- Prolonged bed rest—If you’re experiencing a difficult pregnancy that forces you to spend a lot of time in bed, this might be leading to low blood pressure.
- Allergic reactions
- Internal bleeding
- Hormonal imbalance
- Heart problems
If your blood pressure is really low, it may indicate the presence of more serious issues. It might, for example, be an indication of an ectopic pregnancy (when the egg attaches outside the uterus). Be sure to stay in touch with your doctor.
Low blood pressure during pregnancy normally does not require treatment. However, there are several exceptions:
- Medication—Your doctor may recommend medication if your blood pressure is particularly low.
- Change in Prescription— If your doctor suspects that a drug is causing your low blood pressure, they may prescribe a different medicine until it returns to normal.
- Check for Underlying Conditions—Extremely low blood pressure might be an indication of a more serious problem. If this is the case, your doctor will conduct a series of tests to determine the root problem. Other treatments may be more extreme. For example, if the cause is an ectopic pregnancy, the baby cannot survive and the tissue needs to be removed by medication or surgery.
Home Remedies for Low Blood Pressure in Pregnancy
Although low blood pressure normally does not necessitate medical attention, the symptoms might be uncomfortable. In that situation, you might attempt several home remedies till your level returns to normal.
- Take Your Time – Sitting or standing rapidly might make you feel dizzy or faint. Make a practice of sitting and standing slowly.
- Wear Comfortable Clothes
- Wearing loose clothing may help you feel less dizzy
- Also, consider wearing compression socks. Compression socks improve circulation, which may lead to a rise in blood pressure.
- Always stay hydrated – Low blood pressure can cause dizziness and nausea, which can lead to vomiting. Furthermore, you may already be vomiting due to morning sickness. It’s important to replace the fluids you lost, so try to stay hydrated. Warm herbal teas may also help ease nausea.
- Eating Small, Frequent Meals – Instead of three huge meals, try several smaller ones. This is due to the fact that heavy meals can produce larger decreases in blood pressure while your body struggles to digest them.
- If recommended, take more salt – Many doctors would prefer that you restrict your salt consumption since it can lead to high blood pressure and the difficulties(swollen feet are common) that come with it. In rare circumstances, though, a doctor may advise you to add a little more salt to elevate your blood pressure. Having said that, you should always consult your healthcare practitioner before increasing your salt consumption.
Low blood pressure during pregnancy is typically not a reason for concern because it usually returns to normal in the third trimester. To manage symptoms, you may wish to try the home treatments indicated above.
Blood pressure can sometimes be unusually low or continuously low. In such cases, a doctor may give medicine or recommend tests to identify the underlying problem and begin low blood pressure treatment.