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The Different Types Of High Blood Pressure That Lead To Strict Bed Rest During Pregnancy
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  • Every pregnant woman and her doctor’s goal is for her to carry her child safely until delivery. That’s why they take the necessary precaution when something unusual happens at any point during the course of the pregnancy. One of the most commonly prescribed actions is bed rest.

    Different types of bed rest 

    The type and length of bed rest will vary from woman to woman, says the American Pregnancy Association (APA). It may be a “simple periodic resting at home” or a “full bed rest with monitoring in the hospital.” It may also last for a brief period (just to help a complication stabilize) or a longer duration (for a high-risk pregnancy).

    In the case of singer-actress Aicelle Santos, she was ordered by her doctor to take a bed rest in her second trimester because she experienced slight bleeding and early contractions. She complied until her condition improved.

    But when the contractions reappeared in her third trimester and gestational diabetes set in, she was again put on bed rest. (Read here the story.)

    Common reasons bed rest during pregnancy is prescribed

    Aside from early contractions and vaginal bleeding, the other pregnancy complications that may lead to bed rest include:

    Preeclampsia almost always leads to bed rest   

    Strict bed rest, for instance, may be prescribed to a pregnant woman with early and mild preeclampsia, says the Cedars-Sinai.


    Preeclampsia is defined as “development of high blood pressure, swelling, or high levels of albumin in the urine between the 20th week of pregnancy and the end of the first week after delivery.”

    If you suffer from preeclampsia:

    • Do not miss your checkups with your doctor.
    • Keep your salt intake at a minimum.
    • Drink more water.
    • Lie on your left side to improve the blood flow to your baby in the womb.

    If your condition doesn’t improve, you may undergo further treatment, such as getting balanced salt solution and magnesium sulfate. These will help your reflexes return to normal, reduce the risk of seizures, lessen swelling, and lower blood pressure. Other forms of medication will be administered when high blood pressure persists. 

    Treatment for preeclampsia is crucial to avoid other more serious complications. An example is abruptio placentae, which happens when the placenta detaches too early from the wall of the uterus. Another is eclampsia, or the “development of convulsive seizures or coma without other causes during that same time frame.”

    Other types of high blood pressure that may require bed rest

    Gestational hypertension

    When blood pressure climbs after 20 weeks of pregnancy, you may have gestational hypertension. You won’t have excess protein in her urine or other sings of organ damage, but you will most likely develop preeclampsia.

    Chronic hypertension

    If you have high blood pressure prior to getting pregnant or before reaching your 20th week, your condition is called chronic hypertension. This can be difficult to detect because the usual signs coincide with some pregnancy symptoms, such as headache and dizziness.

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    Chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia

    In the event that you have preexisting high blood pressure worsens and you develop protein in your urine, as well as other complications related to blood pressure, your condition will have another classification. It’s called chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia.

    For treatment, Mayo Clinic says some blood pressure medications are considered safe to use during pregnancy. But a few — angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, and renin inhibitors — are generally avoided. 

    You will need extra care if you suffer from high blood pressure during pregnancy. A mom, who got pregnant at 41, had a safe and successful delivery despite the hypertension’s effect on her baby’s growth and preterm birth. (Read here the story.)

    It’s important then for a pregnant woman to be vigilant and follow your doctor’s orders, including bed rest, to ensure not only your health but also your baby’s welfare. 

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