How to Lower Blood Pressure With Bed Rest

High blood pressure during pregnancy is categorized into three groups: chronic hypertension, gestational hypertension and preeclampsia. Chronic hypertension is when high blood pressure begins before the fifth month of pregnancy and lasts until after the third postpartum month. Gestational hypertension is when high blood pressure begins after the fifth month of pregnancy and no protein is detected in the mother's urine. If protein is detected in the urine with either of these conditions, then the mother is diagnosed with preeclampsia. Preeclampsia can turn into eclampsia, which causes seizures in the mother and can lead to death of both the mother and baby. If you are diagnosed with any of these conditions, your doctor may prescribe bed rest.

Things You'll Need

  • Bed
  • Pillow

Instructions

    • 1

      Lie on your left side. Lying in this position keeps your uterus off of the vein that returns blood back to your heart. This keeps blood and nutrients flowing uninterrupted to your placenta and to your heart. It also keeps your blood pressure down since your heart is not beating harder to compensate for the flow blockage.

    • 2

      Bend your hips and knees. Your joints can become more relaxed during pregnancy, causing you pain when lying on your side. Bending the hips and knees can help reduce this pain, which can help reduce blood pressure since your blood pressure is likely to rise when you are in pain.

    • 3

      Place a pillow between your knees to ease pressure on your lower back and pain on your knee joints. As above, if you are under undue physical stress or something is causing you pain, your blood pressure is likely to be higher.

Tips & Warnings

  • Other ways to control high blood pressure during pregnancy are to eat a diet low in salt and add in foods that help lower blood pressure, practice stress relief techniques, and avoid major physical activity.
  • High blood pressure during pregnancy can lead to serious complications for the mother and baby. These include decreased blood flow to the placenta, placental abruption and premature delivery.
  • Preeclampsia during pregnancy can be an early warning sign that a woman will develop cardiovascular disease in later life.
  • Physical symptoms of preeclampsia include headaches that are persistent, visual disturbances and changes, unexpected weight gain of five or more pounds per week, and abdominal pain on the upper right side.
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