Blood pressure (BP)
Tests are carried out regularly during pregnancy. There are all types of tests to check your, as well as the baby's health condition. One of them is the BP or the blood pressure test. Of course this is a much simpler test as compared to most others. But the BP test is required because if you are suffering from high blood pressure, and also have protein in the routine (another routine test to detect it), then it can mean that you might have a condition that is known as pre-eclampsia. It could be a serious issue.
Usually the blood pressure checking is done once you have passed the 20th week of the pregnancy. It is for your own good and the health of the baby growing within you.
BP or Blood Pressure in Pregnancy
When you are six months pregnant, your body is working hard to make extra blood - your body will have two and half pints extra blood than normal. The heart pumps this blood throughout the body. This is certainly additional activity, and you can thus feel warmer than normal.
Why does the body need this extra blood? It is required for the transportation of oxygen and nourishments to the baby through the placenta and also the umbilical cord. Waste products are also carried away through the blood.
The hormone progesterone makes the blood vessels walls relax. This is precisely why the blood pressure comes down quite often during the middle of a pregnancy. It is quite normal. However there are women who will feel so weak that they might even faint if they are standing for a long time. Many of them are not able to get up quickly as well.
The blood pressure usually comes down to normal levels in the final weeks of the pregnancy. The doctor or midwife is thus concerned only when the BP goes up above the normal range and stays that way for some time as recorded by repeated readings.
There are of course women who already have high blood pressure or hypertension when they became pregnant. In such instances, the doctor usually prescribes a medication for controlling it during the pregnancy to ensure that the baby is not affected by it.
How the Blood Pressure Is Measured
The doctor or midwife will measure your blood pressure levels and record it at each prenatal check-up. The sphygmomanometer machine is used for this.
The person will actually take two readings. Systolic pressure will be recorded with the beating of the heart, and the Diastolic reading is recorded ... continue reading