Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure

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Your blood pressure is taken at every pregnancy visit as well as intermittently during labour and occasionally after the birth, depending on your health. When a caregiver takes a person’s blood pressure, they measure the pressure exerted by the blood against the walls of the blood vessels in the arteries.

A person’s blood pressure reading can fluctuate every minute of the day. Your average reading is very individual to you and will depend on many factors:

  • Your sex. Men generally have higher blood pressures than women
  • Your age. The older you are, the higher your blood pressure
  • Your build and weight. Increased weight tends to increase blood pressure
  • Your fitness. The fitter you are, the lower your blood pressure
  • The time of day. Blood pressure is normally lower when you first wake, and higher at the end of the day
  • Your position. During middle to late pregnancy, lying flat on your back will often give a higher reading than if you are sitting up (because of the pressure of the uterus on the aorta and vena cava blood vessels know as aortocaval compression). Lying on your left side generally gives the lowest reading
  • Which arm is used? The blood pressure reading can be different if taken on the right or left arm
  • The appropriate sized blood pressure cuff. If your arm is larger, a larger cuff (the part of the machine that is wrapped around your arm) need to be used to get an accurate reading
  • Your physical activity. Blood pressure is normally lower when you are resting
  • Your emotional state. Feeling stressed, anxious, nervous or excited will increase your blood pressure
  • The stage of pregnancy. Blood pressure is generally slightly lower during the first 12 weeks, dropping significantly from 12 to 28 weeks and rising to pre-pregnancy levels (or slightly higher) after about 28 weeks
  • Your family history. Hereditary factors from your parents and relatives can make you prone to having high (or low blood) pressure
  • Whether you smoke. Smoking increases your blood pressure

A pregnant woman may have a normal blood pressure as low as 90/50 or as high as 135/80, with an average of about 110/70.

Your queries are best answered over the phone, our friendly reception staff would be happy to assist you with your enquiry, contact us on +02 8824 4998

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