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Donna BaloNormal Blood Pressure
by Donna Harvel Balo ARNP, CNM, MS

Q. What is considered 'normal' blood pressure? Mine is all over the place, really low to the point I fainted 3 times. Now it's back up to normal and with my last pregnancy, there were times it was sky high but with no ongoing signs of toxemia. My so called 'normal' during pregnancy is 130/80 and non-pregnant is 115/70. What determines the 'normal'?

A. A "desirable" blood pressure is less than 120/80. For a pregnant woman, one of the most important things, is what was average for the woman, before pregnancy. Hypertension of pregnancy is usually defined as 140/90 or greater, or a rise of 30mm of mercury in the systolic (top number) and/or a rise of 15mm of mercury in the diastolic (bottom number).

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