Heart & Blood Condition

Expert reports about Heart & Blood Condition


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE HYPOTENSION DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

                                                                                                                                                

What is hypotension during pregnancy?

Hypotension is abnormally low blood pressure. For a pregnant woman, this means a systolic pressure below 90 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure below 60 mm Hg, which is to say that you are hypotensive if your blood pressure is less than 90/60 mmHg. Some experts believe that the diastolic cutoff for hypotension should be 100 mmHg rather than 90 mmHg. A person could have hypotension overall, or she could have what’s called orthostatic hypotension, meaning that your blood pressure drops soon after you stand up, either from a sitting or a lying down (supine) position. Common reasons why you may become hypotensive include loss of water (dehydration), various medications because they make you excrete water, or they cause blood vessels to dilate (widen), which means that a larger volume is available to your blood. Spending more than a few minutes in a hot tub also can cause hypotension, since the heat causes dilation of many blood vessels in the skin. This is particularly likely if you have consumed a big meal, which further diverts blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract, or if you have consumed alcohol, which also causes blood vessels to dilate.


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