Your OB/GYN doctor will monitor your blood pressure during your pregnancy to make sure that it does not get dangerously high. Not only can high blood pressure during pregnancy raise your risk for heart attack and stroke, but it can also put your baby's health in danger. Here are some conservative treatment options your doctor may recommend to lower your blood pressure during your pregnancy.
Monitor Your Sodium Intake
Consuming a high sodium diet can increase your blood pressure. It can also cause edema or swelling of your soft tissues. If you consume too much salt, your ankles may swell, making it difficult for you to walk. Excessive sodium intake can also make your kidneys work harder, which may further raise your blood pressure. In addition to not salting your food, you should also avoid highly processed foods such as deli meats, fast food, canned foods, and chips.
Your doctor may also recommend that you purchase a blood pressure monitoring device to check your blood pressure throughout the day. Certain soft drinks and electrolyte replacement drinks may also contain high amounts of sodium, so they should also be avoided if you are trying to keep your blood pressure down.
Watch Your Medications
Both prescription and over-the-counter drugs can raise your blood pressure. Some over-the-counter medications that can raise your blood pressure include acetaminophen, naproxen sodium, and ibuprofen. These are popular pain and fever reducers, and should only be taken under the supervision of your physician when you're pregnant. Cold medications such as those containing decongestant medication can also raise your blood pressure.
Decongestants can also cause your heart rate to increase and beat irregularly. Certain asthma medications can also cause a rise in blood pressure, as can corticosteroids. Also, if you suffer from migraine headaches during your pregnancy, check your over-the-counter migraine medication for caffeine before taking it. Caffeine is a common ingredient in migraine drugs and can cause a rapid heart rate and high blood pressure. Your OB/GYN doctor may also tell you to avoid drinking caffeinated beverages such as coffee, cola, and tea to help prevent spikes in your blood pressure.
If you are pregnant and have high blood pressure, see your health care provider on a regular basis. When hypertension is medically monitored and well-managed, both you and your unborn baby are less likely to experience blood pressure-related complications such as renal problems, circulatory disorders, stroke, cardiovascular problems, and visual problems.