Persistent Post partum hypertension

Patient

Q: I just had a baby on monday and i have gotten a bloody nose, headache, dizzyness and went to check my blood pressure to see that its at 142/91. I also have not been able to sleep. What should I do?

Doctor

A:   Blood pressure may be significantly higher in the immediate postpartum period than antepartum or intrapartum. This may be due to a combination of factors, including administration of saline solution in women who have had a cesarean delivery, loss of the pregnancy associated vasodilation after delivery, mobilization of extracellular fluid after delivery, and administration of non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs for postdelivery analgesia. Hypertension associated with pre-eclampsia usually resolves spontaneously within a few weeks after delivery (average 16 9.5 days) and is almost always gone by 12 weeks postpartum. However, some cases may take as long as six months to resolve. If you are feeling unwell with dizziness, headaches and your blood pressure is high, I advise attending your family doctor for a check-up.

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