Tips for Pregnant Women to to Keep High Blood Pressure in Check

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Having high blood pressure can be deadly. Having high blood pressure while pregnant can be extremely harmful for both you and your future baby as well. High blood pressure while pregnant leads to decreased blood flow to the placenta meaning your baby might receive less oxygen and fewer nutrients. This can lead to low birth weight or premature birth.

Additionally, individuals with chronic diseases tend to be more vulnerable to diseases and deadly complications. High blood pressure often leads to hypertension which makes one more susceptible to strokes, heart attacks, and even COVID-19.

We have put together a list of recommendations to keep your high blood pressure in check during quarantine.

Monitor your blood pressure

The first step is to know if you suffer from high blood pressure and to what extent you need to take care. Taking daily readings can help monitor your blood pressure fluctuations regularly. It helps in creating a lifestyle that is best for your health.

Take care of your diet

While at home, we also tend to snack a lot more. The foods that we snack on are commonly ultra-processed, which add to the woes of high blood pressure. Your diet should include a lot of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You should focus on limiting sodium-even a small reduction in the sodium in your diet can improve your heart health and reduce blood pressure. Additionally, consider boosting potassium. Potassium can lessen the effects of sodium on blood pressure. The best source of potassium is food, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than supplements.

High blood pressure often leads to hypertension which makes one more susceptible to strokes, heart attacks, and even COVID-19.

Use what you have around the house to exercise

Stand, instead of sitting, whenever you can to increase your circulation and burn a few extra calories throughout the day. Jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, and walking or jogging in place can all be done almost anywhere. You can even walk up and down the stairs if you have them. Here are more tips for pregnant women in quarantine who want to exercise.

Reduce your stress

Chronic stress may contribute to high blood pressure. More research is needed to determine the effects of chronic stress on blood pressure. Meditating and doing deep breathing exercises can help lower your blood pressure and heart rate, reduce stress, and give you mental clarity. Managing your stress and anxiety during the pandemic can be found here.

Get support

Supportive family and friends can help improve your health. They may encourage you to take care of yourself, drive you to the doctor’s office, or embark on an exercise program with you to keep your blood pressure low. If you find you need support beyond your family and friends, consider joining a support group. This may put you in touch with people who can give you an emotional or morale boost and who can offer practical tips to cope with your condition.

Shoshi W.
Shoshi is an undergraduate student at Stern College for Women in New York City. Her areas of interest include policy, non-profit organizations, and administration. During winter 2018, she was a White House intern. Shoshi has also interned at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and at Save the Children in New York. As a millennial, Shoshi brings a young and fresh perspective to the worlds of pregnancy and lactation.

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