Low BP during pregnancy is a very common symptom experienced by most women. It may cause some discomfort, but it is not harmful as long as it is within the typical range. It is caused due to various changes that happen in the body to support the development of the baby. With proper lifestyle changes and home remedies, you can easily manage low blood pressure.
Let us understand more about low blood pressure during pregnancy and some top home remedies to relieve it.
What is Low BP in Pregnancy?
Blood pressure is the strength with which your heart pumps blood around your body. This pumping of blood is vital as it provides nourishment and oxygen to every cell. When the pressure is low, it is called low blood pressure or hypotension. Low blood pressure is a normal condition during pregnancy as it is caused by changes in pregnancy hormones and variations in blood circulation.
Appropriate blood pressure is needed by the body to ensure proper blood flow to the organs. The reading of healthy blood pressure is 120 mm hg/80 mm hg. Any reading below 90 mmhg/60 mm hg is considered low blood pressure. The readings of low blood pressure vary from person to person. Typically, a drop of 5 mm hg to 10 mm hg in systolic pressure and 15 mm hg in diastolic pressure is seen in most women.
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How to Diagnose Low BP during Pregnancy?
Doctors regularly monitor the blood pressure during all the stages of pregnancy to check for complications and other issues. It is measured with a simple test using the blood pressure meter. You can also buy a lighter blood pressure measuring device to check the readings at home.
Causes of Low BP during Pregnancy:
Blood pressure starts falling during early pregnancy and goes on until 24 weeks, during the first and second trimester. Let us look at the various reasons and factors of low blood pressure during pregnancy:
- Pregnancy hormones like progesterone cause relaxation of the walls of the blood vessels and dilation of the blood vessels, this is one of the main causes of low BP during early months of pregnancy.
- The circulatory system in the body expands to provide for the growing baby, and this lowers the pressure of the blood.
- A brief but sudden drop in the blood pressure while pregnant happens when you suddenly change your position after prolonged sitting or sleeping position.
- Prolonged sleeping or resting on the back creates pressure on some blood vessels causing the blood pressure to drop briefly. This is mostly during the second or third trimester when the uterus is expanding.
- Deficiency in important vitamins, minerals and other nutrients also cause low BP.
- Anemia is a condition where the red blood cells are unhealthy or insufficient to carry oxygen around the body. This leads to low BP.
- Heart conditions like bradycardia where the heart rate is extremely low, a disease in heart valves etc. can also cause low BP.
- Insufficient water intake can cause dehydration and low BP.
- Stress, anxiety, nervousness and high heart rate also cause low BP.
- Health conditions like hypoglycemia, Addison’s disease, thyroid issues can also cause low BP.
- Loss of blood due to injury or internal bleeding decreases the blood pressure.
- Severe allergic reactions also cause a sudden drop of blood pressure to dangerous levels.
- Some medications can also lead to low blood pressure, so it is important to consult a doctor before taking any medication during pregnancy.
What are the Types of Low Blood Pressure?
The most types of low blood pressure commonly seen in pregnant ladies are supine hypotension and postural hypotension.
Supine hypotension is caused when the vena cava vein is compressed due to the pressure of the growing uterus. This happens when the mother is sleeping or sitting on her back for long hours. Dizziness, nausea and sweating are common symptoms.
Postural Hypotension or Orthostatic Hypotension is a sudden and brief drop in blood pressure when you stand up after prolonged sitting or lying down. Dizziness and vertigo are common signs.
Symptoms of Low BP during Pregnancy:
Let us look at the various symptoms of low blood pressure,
- Dizziness and lightheadedness.
- Episodes of fainting, in severe cases.
- Dizziness after standing up or sitting up.
- Low energy levels and fatigue.
- Breathlessness or difficulty in breathing.
- Excessive thirst.
- Blurred vision and headache.
- Sweaty and cold skin.
- Inability to concentrate or focus.
Risks and Effects of Low BP during Pregnancy:
Though low BP is normal during pregnancy, it does pose some risks,
- Dizziness and fainting can cause accidents and falls that may injure the mother and the unborn child.
- Very low BP can cause organ damage and shock for the mother.
- A big drop in BP can reduce the oxygen supply to the growing baby, which may damage the heart and brain of the baby.
See More: Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy
How to Treat Low BP during Pregnancy?
It is not recommended to use any medication to treat low BP during pregnancy unless it is severely low. In which case, an immediate doctor’s attention is required to rule out any pregnancy related complications. Low BP during pregnancy can be easily managed with home remedies and simple lifestyle changes. The BP starts coming back to normal levels during the third trimester.
Home Remedies for Low BP during Pregnancy:
Pregnancy related chest pain can be managed with simple remedies and lifestyle changes. Let us look at some top home remedies and treatments.
Consuming an adequate amount of salt is a very effective remedy for increasing blood pressure. Sea salt or Himalayan rock salt is a healthy option for increasing blood pressure. These salts contain essential minerals that are needed by the body to maintain healthy blood pressure. Sodium is also needed by the body in moderate levels to beat low BP. Drinking salt water or oral rehydration solutions also helps.
Almonds are a very good remedy for increasing the BP as they are rich in healthy fats that are good for the heart. These are a healthy source of omega-3 fatty acids that help strengthen the heart and balance the blood pressure. Making a paste or milk from soaked almonds and consuming it every morning is a very effective way of treating low BP.
Dried red grapes or munakka are a very good natural source of antioxidants. Soaking a handful of these raisins overnight and consuming them along with the soaked water helps in purifying the blood. It also helps in improving the count of red blood cells and maintaining healthy blood pressure. Dried red grapes are a very good remedy for improving the immunity of the body and blood circulation.
4. Tulsi Tea:
Tulsi leaves are a very good source of antioxidants and nutrients like vitamin C, potassium and magnesium. These nutrients are very helpful in keeping the heart strong and maintaining healthy blood pressure. The antioxidants in tulsi also help in flushing out the bad cholesterol and other toxins that may hamper the blood circulation.
Beets are a very good source of antioxidants and essential nutrients. Beets also help in increasing the blood count and improving the health of the red blood cells. A cup of beetroot juice every day ensures healthy blood circulation and blood pressure.
Ginger is a very useful herb that has many medicinal properties. It is rich in compounds like gingerol, zingerone and shogoal that are very effective for neutralizing the blood pressure. Antioxidants are in ginger, and it helps in flushing out toxins and purifying the blood. It also aids in better blood circulation.
7. Lemon Juice:
Lemons are a good source of essential nutrients, and antioxidants like vitamin C. Drinking a glass of lemon juice is very beneficial in providing the body with essential minerals and salts. This helps in balancing the blood pressure. It also helps in flushing out the toxins and improving digestion and absorption of food.
Tips for Treating Low BP during Pregnancy:
- Let us look at some tips to control and manage low BP during pregnancy.
- It is very important to take ample rest during pregnancy. Resting often throughout the day helps relax the organs and aids in recovery.
- Light exercise or prenatal yoga is very beneficial in improving circulation and relieving low BP. This should be taken as per the doctor’s advice.
- Diet rich insufficient nutrients are essential to provide enough nutrition for the mother and growing baby.
- It is advised to consume foods rich in iron and folic acid for the healthy development of red blood cells.
- Drinking lots of water and liquids is a must to provide the body with sufficient hydration.
- Avoid tight fitting clothes.
- Avoid standing for a long time or quickly getting up after sitting or lying down.
See More: Hypothyroidism During Pregnancy
Low BP during pregnancy is nothing to worry about. Pregnancy is an uneasy and difficult time for the mother to be. But with simple lifestyle changes, healthy diet and home remedies, one can effectively evade the discomforts related to pregnancy. Try out the home remedies suggested above and let us know how they decreased your pregnancy troubles and made your pregnancy easy and joyous.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:
Q1. When to see a doctor for low BP during pregnancy?
Ans: If you are experiencing symptoms of the sudden and severely low blood pressure along with severe pain in the pelvis, dizziness or fainting, blurred vision, fatigue, breathlessness, numbness on one side of the body, you must consult a doctor immediately.
Q2. How can low BP in pregnancy affect the baby?
Ans: Frequent fainting spells associated with low BP can result in injuries that can be dangerous and harmful to the baby. Severely low BP can reduce the blood supply to the baby affecting its development. It can also result in damage to vital organs like the heart and brain due to decreased nutrition and oxygen supply. Low birth weight and stillbirth are also caused due to very low blood pressure.
Q3. What are the effects of the sudden and severe drop in blood pressure during pregnancy?
Ans: Sudden and extremely low blood pressure can lead to shock and organ damage for the mother. Kidney failure, heart attack and stroke are sometimes caused due to poor blood supply and low blood pressure. A severe drop can also be harmful to the baby as it prevents blood supply to the fetus.