One of the many things that your OB or Midwife will check at each and every prenatal visit is your blood pressure.  You may wonder why your blood pressure is so important.  The answer is simple, good blood pressure can indicate that your baby is getting all the blood and nutrients that he needs.  Just as important, high blood pressure can be a sign of pre-eclampsia.  The only cure for pre-eclampsia is to deliver your baby, so it is important to monitor your blood pressure and ensure that you aren’t developing the condition. 

No one actually wants to deliver their baby pre-term.  Now you might be wondering what you can do to prevent high blood pressure during pregnancy, conditions like pre-eclampsia seem to me to be quite random.  I have known overweight pregnant women to get it, just as I have seen those seemingly perfectly healthy women with it, and plenty in between those two extremes.  Everyone has the chance of getting pre-eclampsia.  However, if your doctor or midwife notices your blood pressure creeping up, it’s not too late. 

With your caregiver’s permission start a light exercise program if you haven’t already.  Some studies have shown that light exercise has helped to regulate blood pressure.  A good place to start if you are currently mostly sedentary is a walking program.  A quick ten minute walk might make all the difference to you.  If walking is uncomfortable, you can always look into prenatal yoga.  Yoga is great exercise, and it could do double duty to help other ailments.  This may not keep you from getting pre-eclampsia completely, but it could possibly delay the progress of the condition for a few weeks.  And a few weeks to a baby in the womb can make all the difference! 

-Stephanie Wright

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