As you’re heading into the final stages of pregnancy, your body is starting to prepare for the actual birth. A common occurrence for many pregnant women is a rise in their blood pressure. It’s generally not a significant increase, but some mothers can feel uncomfortable with their hearts beating a little harder than they are used to. This happens because the overall blood volume of mom has increased significantly, creating a need for the heart to beat harder in order to circulate it properly. The blood pressure will typically start to rise in the sixth month of pregnancy and go back to normal levels about six weeks after birth.
Some mothers become frightened by this change because it can feel as though the heart is racing or that there is an extra beat – but while both of these feelings are true, they are also not unsafe.
So long as you have regular physician care, you are merely just supporting the other little body inside of you.
But there are some problems that can go along with higher blood pressure. Like Pre-eclampsia, also known as toxemia, pre-eclampsia affects about 4-5% of all pregnant women. It is a condition that can happen in the later parts of pregnancy and can be harmful to both baby and mother.
In this condition, a sudden increase in blood pressure can lead to hemorrhaging and infection – it can be a condition that kills.
Occurring mainly in women that have either not been pregnant before or are carrying more than one child, pre-eclampsia is something that every pregnant woman needs to be on the lookout for.
Here are some of the potential warning signs of pre-eclampsia from a doctor’s viewpoint:
· High blood pressure
· High blood pressure, swelling, protein in the urine, and convulsions
· High blood pressure and increased protein the urine with or without swelling
But since you might not be able to recognize these signs, here are the symptoms that every pregnant woman should watch out for:
· Swelling of your ankles or feet that does not go away after 12 hours of rest
· Swelling of your face or hands that comes on suddenly
· Rapid weight gain, as in four to five pounds in a single week
· A sudden increase in your blood pressure
· Protein in your urine – found in a urine specimen at your doctor’s office
· Severe headaches that you have not had before
· Blurry vision, seeing spots
· Severe pain over your stomach, under your ribs · Decrease in frequency of urination
Pre-eclampsia will be something that a doctor will have to carefully monitor as you progress through your pregnancy. Once higher blood pressure is noted as well as other symptoms, your doctor will want to see you more frequently – as often as every day in some cases. Treatment includes bed rest and possibly hospitalization in more severe cases. Some moms will be able to use relaxation techniques to bring their blood pressure down naturally.
You might also return to the initial feelings of fatigue as your fetus grows rapidly and finishes its development. You will also start to feel the discomfort of having a larger body inside of you, pushing against your uterus and inner organs. The larger fetus may begin to cause a number of symptoms for the mom. Lower blood pressure may occur from the fetus pushing down on main vein that returns blood to the heart, the bladder may feel full more often, leading to increased trips to the bathroom, and the skin may feel hot and flushed more often. You might also begin to have Braxton-Hicks contractions at unpredictable times as the body prepares for delivery. Your body might also show stretch marks from the stretching of the skin as well as darkened areas from the overall hormone fluctuations. Your abdomen may feel dry and stretched (because it is). You might suffer from more swelling in the lower areas of your body as well as your hands and face. And you will also notice that the upper body doesn’t have any changes in its blood flow, but the strained lower half will – which is generally why some women get varicose veins during their pregnancy. Varicose veins can become more pronounced at this time, while you can also begin to see a discharge from your breasts. You are noticeably pregnant at this time, but realize that you might not carry your fetus as other pregnant women do. Some will carry ‘higher’ in their abdomen, while others will carry lower. But this is due to the structure of the woman’s body, not because of the gender of the baby (that’s an old wives tale). As you move toward the final trimester of your pregnancy, the baby is starting to make the final push to being ready to be born.
This is a very fragile time because your baby is nearly developed, but there are many things that can go wrong at this time, so you need to make sure that you’re still taking care of yourself and this new life. The fetus is growing bigger and bigger so that it will be ready to be outside of the womb and able to support itself.
This is the time for you to rest and prepare your home for your new baby’s arrival. And while you’re picking out the decorations for the nursery, have you thought of a name?
is the most recent women's resource site from Jacqueline Flynn
. She is the founder and President of WomanCentric.com.
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