Home Blood Pressure Monitoring in Pregnancy
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This leaflet is for pregnant women with hypertension (high blood pressure) who are suitable for blood pressure (BP) monitoring at home and will explain why we need to monitor your blood pressure. About 10% of women will have high blood pressure in pregnancy.
This can be:
Chronic Hypertension: high blood pressure that started before pregnancy or was detected early in the pregnancy. Some women will develop pre-eclampsia (below) on top of chronic hypertension.
Gestational Hypertension: high blood pressure that develops later in pregnancy, usually in the third trimester. In some cases, it can progress to preeclampsia (below).
Pre-eclampsia: a condition of pregnancy where high blood pressure is associated with the presence of protein in your urine. This condition can affect your liver and kidneys and in severe circumstances can lead to seizures or stroke as well as problems for your baby.
Due to the risks associated with pre-eclampsia, it is important to monitor blood pressure closely. This may be to see if you need to start medication, check the medication you are on is working or decide if you need any extra tests.
To reduce the number of hospital visits for blood pressure checks, we offer the option of home blood pressure monitoring using an app.
How do you measure my blood pressure at home?
You will be provided with an automatic blood pressure machine to use at home. A midwife or doctor will teach you how to use it and you can watch a video demonstration on the app by selecting
‘FAQs’ on the app homepage. You will be advised how frequently to measure your blood pressure.
• Measure your blood pressure at roughly the same time each day and use the same arm each time.
• Make sure you are comfortable and have been sat quietly for about 5 mins before starting.
• Wait at least 30 mins after exercise, smoking, caffeine or a large meal before measuring your blood pressure.
• Your arm should be bare and your sleeve should not be tight when your roll it up.
• Sit on a chair with the monitor on a table at chest height beside you.
• Place the cuff around your arm with the tube facing downwards and the ‘Artery’ arrow on the inside front of your arm, about 3 finger-breadths above your elbow fold.
• The Velcro should be secure but not too tight. • Press the ‘POWER’ button once and it will automatically start recording.
• Your blood pressure will be displayed as follows:
How do I record my blood pressure on the app?
1. A midwife or doctor will show you how to register on the app which can be downloaded from the Apple or Android app store by typing ‘Hampton Medical’ into the search bar.
2. Log-in with your details.
3. Select ‘Blood Pressure Results’ then ‘Add blood pressure results’.
4. Enter your blood pressure reading and answer the questions, then press ‘Save’.
When should I contact the hospital?
Your midwife or doctor will arrange a follow-up appointment for you. You should contact the hospital before that if prompted by a warning when you put in your results on the app. You should also contact the hospital if you have the following symptoms at other times: severe/persistent headache, visual disturbances such as blurring or flashing, severe pain just below the ribs, vomiting, chest pain or sudden onset swelling of your face, hands or feet.
You should contact:
Mon-Fri 0900-1800 & Sat-Sun 1000-1800 – Antenatal Day Assessment Unit – 01908 996481
Outside of the above hours – Labour ward – 01908 996471
If you have any issue with the app or your blood pressure monitor, please contact the Antenatal Day Assessment Unit in working hours.