So if you have high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia during your pregnancy you might wonder what happens after you have your baby. For most women blood pressure problems start to resolve after delivery and by 6 weeks postnatally you will be off all medications and have normal blood pressure. A few things you need to know. Watch out for symptoms of high blood pressure such as headache and visual symptoms such as spots in front of your eyes or blurred vision. Swollen legs are common towards the end of pregnancy. The swelling often gets worse after delivery and usually improves and resolves within ten days. Basically you are retaining fluid and you will pee lots and the swelling goes away. Swelling is not a sign of high blood pressure at this stage.
If you are taking medication this will usually be reduced straight after delivery. However blood pressure goes up again between day 3 and day 5 after delivery so you may still be on medication when you are going home from hospital. Your doctor will advise follow up appointments to check your blood pressure and reduce your medication gradually. Once your blood pressure is normal it is common for a doctor to decrease your medication once a week until you stop it.
The medications commonly used to treat high blood pressure in pregnancy, Labetalol/ trandate and adalat/nifiedine are safe if you are breastfeeding. If you are taking aldomet/ methyldopa during pregnancy you doctor will probably switch this to another medication because it may cause mood problems and postnatal depression.
If you feel dizzy and light headed especially when standing this is a sign that your blood pressure is low and your medication needs to be reduced. Whether you have symptoms of high or low blood pressure you should get your blood pressure checked and see a healthcare professional.
If your blood pressure is still raised and/or you still have protein in your urine at 6 weeks after delivery your doctor may refer you to a specialist (nephrologist) for further tests and treatments.
If you have any further questions please contact your own Doctor.