February 2016 Moms
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Anyone w/ high BP or White Coat Syndrome??

I had legit high BP at the end of my 1st pregnancy which I was put on bed rest for the last 2 weeks.  Had no issues at all w/ my 2nd but this time, I panic every time I have my BP taken in the office which makes it high.  I have to lay on my left side, breathe and it comes back down but I'm so nervous and I can't help it.

To make it worse, I know I can't have the water birth in the family beginnings unit at the hospital if I have high BP so that is also on my mind.

My nurse told me to tell the nurse at my check-ups every time that I have white coat syndrome so they can have me relax and lay down.

Anyone else have this issue?   And if you do have high BP, are you on medication....how do you manage it?

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Re: Anyone w/ high BP or White Coat Syndrome??

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    I have it and I'm a nurse. It's common. It's also because of the hormones. I am not on medication. I just try to relax and be calm unless I'm upset...then its gonna be high.
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    I had a couple highs last pregnancy. I always asked them to recheck it in the middle or towards the end of the appt, and it always came down.

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    If you didnt have it with your second were you just as nervous? If not, try to do whatever you did then. Worrying about it will only make it go up, obviously, you know this. Try to relax and think happy thoughts before your appt. Good luck!

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    willashbabywillashbaby member
    edited July 2015
    I have them do my BP at the end of the appointment after I have heard/seen baby. By then I'm usually back down to normal. 
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    If you didnt have it with your second were you just as nervous? If not, try to do whatever you did then. Worrying about it will only make it go up, obviously, you know this. Try to relax and think happy thoughts before your appt. Good luck!
    I didn't have that anxiety really...maybe a few times with DD.  

    It is so crazy b/c I cannot be rational about it even though I know it makes it worse...it is seriously so maddening to know you are not being rational but cannot help it!! lol I try to envision the beach, massages, etc.  It's like my body just has to get the bad reading out of the way, then I calm down and it goes down.  I'm so strange!

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    ashleyandjodyashleyandjody member
    edited July 2015
    I actually got pregnant because I had to get off BC because my BP was too high. I have been monitoring it with a BP machine at home twice a day. If the top number gets over 150 or the bottom number gets over 100, I am to alert my doctor immediately. I have reduced the amount of salt, caffeine, and sugar I eat which has helped. I also see my doctor once every three months to make sure I am on track. Both my family doctor and my OB/GYN has said that I might have to be put on medication once I get further along (OB/GYN is thinking 3rd trimester), but that's something we will deal with when it happens.

    Edited to add: OB/GYN just wanted to let me know that medication was a possibility and did not want to worry me. He has had several patients with high BP on medication who have had healthy babies.


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    My BP skyrockets every time I got to ANY Dr, especially my OB Dr. during a pregnancy. I have had several losses, and I am ALWAYS terrifed they are going to tell me there's no heartbeat. So I told my OB to please take my BP at the end of my appt when I have calmed down rather than the beginning. If you honestly have high BP outside of being anxious at the Drs, there are medication you can take that are safe during pregnancy. Good luck!
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    have you tried maybe yoga or meditation before your appointment? Or reading in the morning. Anything really that would keep you calm before you had to go in there? Maybe youtube some breathing techniques to try out in the waiting room??
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    I have high BP issues. When I am at home my BP ranges from 115-125/70-85 (depending on time of day, activity, etc.). At the doctors office, I usually read about 135/90.  I have one-off readings that have been higher, but nothing over 145/95 <-----major white coat syndrome here.

    I had this during my last pregnancy as well.

    My medical provider/insurance is VERY proactive, so for my last pregnancy (and starting again now with this one) I was on a home BP monitoring program, that way I could monitor my rates at home, where I was comfortable. I would bring in my monitoring sheets to the doctors appointments and she would review them. I also had "parameters" so that if I took my BP at home and it read over 150/90 (or under a number I can't remember) I had a special number to call into and report it.
    At 28 weeks, in addition to the BP monitoring, I started a kick count and protein monitoring (pee on stick test), again, at home.

    The doctors had me try medication at the beginning (for like 3 days), but it dropped my home readings to low (90/60) so I was off medication for the rest of my pregnancy. The doctors always let me know that medication was a possibility later in pregnancy, it just depended on my readings. During labor, my BP did get very high and I was administered medication.

    I had to go in for non-stress tests twice a week (starting late in the pregnancy) where they would monitor the baby.

    It was a little annoying to go through, but Preeclampsia/Eclampsia are serious issues that can be avoided with monitoring.

    Other tips for BP taking:
    You should always take it in a chair where your feet touch the ground and allows for good posture. Should not be noticeably "uncomfortable" - this can raise BP. Your arm should be raised slightly above heart level when the reading is taken. You should not be talking or moving or anything like that.
    Also, make sure that you are given the correct sized cuff for the diameter of your arm. The cuff should be on skin, not over clothing.

    I like to listen to something that distracts me, so I have some songs/mantras on my phone and I put my headphones (the big kind that block other things, not just earbuds) on before my BP is taken. Sometimes, the beeping that the machine makes is enough to freak me out.

    I hope this info helps. You could talk to your doctor about home monitoring, maybe this way, if your numbers at home are good, you could have the water birth approved.



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    nrstumpfnrstumpf member
    edited July 2015
    BBEA2006 said:



    I didn't have that anxiety really...maybe a few times with DD.  

    It is so crazy b/c I cannot be rational about it even though I know it makes it worse...it is seriously so maddening to know you are not being rational but cannot help it!! lol I try to envision the beach, massages, etc.  It's like my body just has to get the bad reading out of the way, then I calm down and it goes down.  I'm so strange!
    You are not strange. I've had white coat syndrome and plus varying degrees of general anxiety my whole life. I was petrified to go to the doctor until early 20's. I still cry from anxiety at the start of some appointments. I know better but still freak out. I tell the doctors every time to retest at the end if it's high. My BP is always back down by the end.
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    anamilia said:
    I have high BP issues. When I am at home my BP ranges from 115-125/70-85 (depending on time of day, activity, etc.). At the doctors office, I usually read about 135/90.  I have one-off readings that have been higher, but nothing over 145/95 <-----major white coat syndrome here.

    I had this during my last pregnancy as well.

    My medical provider/insurance is VERY proactive, so for my last pregnancy (and starting again now with this one) I was on a home BP monitoring program, that way I could monitor my rates at home, where I was comfortable. I would bring in my monitoring sheets to the doctors appointments and she would review them. I also had "parameters" so that if I took my BP at home and it read over 150/90 (or under a number I can't remember) I had a special number to call into and report it.
    At 28 weeks, in addition to the BP monitoring, I started a kick count and protein monitoring (pee on stick test), again, at home.

    The doctors had me try medication at the beginning (for like 3 days), but it dropped my home readings to low (90/60) so I was off medication for the rest of my pregnancy. The doctors always let me know that medication was a possibility later in pregnancy, it just depended on my readings. During labor, my BP did get very high and I was administered medication.

    I had to go in for non-stress tests twice a week (starting late in the pregnancy) where they would monitor the baby.

    It was a little annoying to go through, but Preeclampsia/Eclampsia are serious issues that can be avoided with monitoring.

    Other tips for BP taking:
    You should always take it in a chair where your feet touch the ground and allows for good posture. Should not be noticeably "uncomfortable" - this can raise BP. Your arm should be raised slightly above heart level when the reading is taken. You should not be talking or moving or anything like that.
    Also, make sure that you are given the correct sized cuff for the diameter of your arm. The cuff should be on skin, not over clothing.

    I like to listen to something that distracts me, so I have some songs/mantras on my phone and I put my headphones (the big kind that block other things, not just earbuds) on before my BP is taken. Sometimes, the beeping that the machine makes is enough to freak me out.

    I hope this info helps. You could talk to your doctor about home monitoring, maybe this way, if your numbers at home are good, you could have the water birth approved.



    This is very helpful, thank you very much!  I think I'm going to buy a home BP test to have peace of mind so that I don't have to freak out at the OB's b/c I know it is fine.  I'm willing to try anything to get my water birth, although, if I do have legit BP issues then obviously I want what is best for the baby and I...I'm just hoping I don't!

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    ml710ml710 member
    I've never had BP issues but last night I felt weird and my mom (a nurse) took it for me. It was 150/94 so I have to see the doctor today. I'm only 10 weeks and pretty worried about it but it is good to read others are able to manage and maybe I was just stressed at work. Hopefully all will be fine!
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    I've been on blood pressure medication since my mid 20s (so about 10 years). It's hereditary in my family (my mom, aunt and nana all have the same). I also had white coat syndrome because I'd get so nervous about my BP that it would soar. My doc originally had me do a kidney function test and because I had no idea what to expect when showing up at the hospital for the test, my BP sky rocketed to 170/100-something. The nurse guy was totally freaked out, but since I felt okay, he had me sit for a little bit and it came back down to my normal (at the time) 140/95ish. Once they determined my kidneys were fine, I was put on meds.

    Before TTC, I asked my doctor for options that were safe for pregnancy and he worked with my OB/GYN to find the right fit. Now that I'm pregnant, my OB has assured me that the medication I'm on is just fine, and thus far my BP has been perfect at both my 8 and 12 week appointments. 
    Me 37, DH 37
    Married since 4/2004
    DS born 1/20/16, Graeme
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    I'm in the same boat as PP. I have been on medication since January and got pregnant in may. Doc put me on a different BP med but said to monitor it and make sure it doesn't sky rocket during the day. I've cut out caffeine completely as well as not salting anything (which is tough for me because I would pick salty snacks over sweets any day). I'm a high risk pregnancy, but it's also due to having factor v not just high BP. Doc told me to exercise 4-5 days a week (not getting heart rate over 140/minute) and that lowers the chance or pre-eclampsia a great deal.
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