Pregnancy can change a woman’s body in many ways. What some women do not realize is that becoming pregnant can affect your blood pressure levels. Although many women are aware that high blood pressure can be a serious problem during pregnancy, few women know about the effects that low blood pressure levels during this time. Here are some of the things that all women who are pregnant or trying to conceive should know about low blood pressure.
Blood Pressure Levels Change During Pregnancy
Blood pressure levels do change throughout pregnancy. In the beginning of pregnancy, most women will experience a drop in their blood pressure levels. According to the American Pregnancy Association, blood pressure lowers during pregnancy because the rise in hormones help increase blood flow to the baby. This generally lasts up until the middle of pregnancy, when blood pressure levels generally begin to rise. Even women with preexisting high blood pressure may notice their levels decrease early in pregnancy.
How Lower Blood Pressure May Affect Your Pregnancy
Most women find that they do not experience any severe symptoms or side effects due to lower blood pressure levels. Though the drop in levels may be somewhat drastic, the body is almost always able to adapt and not cause any serious complications. That said, there are a few mild symptoms or side effects associated with lower blood pressure during pregnancy.
It is common for women to experience dizziness, lightheadedness, and mild headaches due to lower blood pressure levels during pregnancy. In rare cases, some women will also faint. If you experience one or more fainting spells once you become pregnant, the best thing that you can do is talk to your doctor. While everything may be normal, there is a chance that your blood pressure levels may be too low – which is common among women with preexisting low blood pressure – or another health problem may be to blame.
Overall, the most important thing to keep in mind is that low blood pressure is not a serious risk during pregnancy. It is very common and generally nothing to worry about. If you experience fainting or other severe symptoms, it’s ideal to talk to your doctor to make sure that your blood pressure levels aren’t too low or that you are not suffering from another serious health condition. Pregnant women should be more concerned about the risk of high blood pressure and preeclampsia.
American Pregnancy Association, “Pregnancy and Dizziness.”
BabyCenter.com, “Dizziness and fainting during pregnancy.”
MayoClinic.com, “Low blood pressure (hypotension).”