It’s vital to check your blood pressure during pregnancy

19 Mar 2014 - 15:45

It is important to visit your antenatal clinic regularly during your pregnancy to have your blood pressure checked.

Why must I have my blood pressure checked during pregnancy?

It is important because having high blood pressure during your pregnancy is a serious condition called pre-eclampsia (also known as toxemia). This can make a pregnant mother very ill and prevent healthy development of her baby.

The easiest way to know whether you have pre-eclampsia is for the doctor or nurse to take your blood pressure and check your urine. It is important to know as soon as possible if your blood pressure is increasing. If blood pressure gets too high it may cause a pregnant mother to have a fit which could cause both mother and baby to die.

What should I do?

• Book an appointment at your antenatal clinic as soon as you think or know that you are pregnant
• Go to all your clinic appointments during your pregnancy
• At the clinic, the nurse or doctor will measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein (this will show them if your kidneys are still healthy)
• Taking your blood pressure is not painful and only takes two minutes. A cuff is put around your arm and no needles are used
• Your urine sample will be checked in one minute by dipping a small stick into the sample that you provide at the clinic.