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White Coat Syndrome 
13th-Nov-2008 02:46 pm [blood pressure, old wives' tales]
Hello ladies.  I'm currently 7 months pregnant with my first (a boy).  Starting in 2005 I took care of my father (who has since passed away) and there were lots of hospital visits and doctors visits in which we usually got bad news.  Ever since then no matter what I'm in a doctors office for my blood pressure and heart rate always go sky high.  I try relaxation techniques but the more I try or think about it the worse I make it.  Its never been a huge issue but has worried me since becoming pregnant.  My doctor has me monitor it at home and its perfectly fine and my urine always comes back fine.  My question to any of you who have dealt with this... did it cause any extra problems for you  in later pregnancy? When you went to the hospital for the actual labor? I went to a different doctor today because I've been struggling with a nasty cold and I explained it to her but she seemed pretty concerned about it, which is understandable since I know it is usually an indicator of pre-e.  It can get frustrating for me.  Also.. on a different note, she told me I looked good for being 7 months and followed that up by asking me if I was haveing a boy.  I asked her why she would ask that and she was preoccupied and never answered me.  Anyone ever heard anything like that from a doctor? I was under the assumption that how you were carrying made no idication whatever of the sex of the baby.
Comments 
13th-Nov-2008 10:52 pm (UTC)
She probably just assumed it by the way you were carrying, someone said to me the other day "I bet you're having a girl" and told me it was just the way I was carrying. There isn't any medical proof behind it, its just another wives tale :)

I don't have any answers for your earlier question, good luck with it though.
13th-Nov-2008 10:53 pm (UTC)
Have you tried telling her being there makes you nervous and that could result in your blood pressure raising? When your in labor if you're open to medication they may be able to give you some sedation or anti-anxiety medication to keep your BP and HR from getting too high.

I hope I understood your problem right, if not sorry I just rambled!
13th-Nov-2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
Yes, you did.. thank you for the suggestions =) I will keep that in mind.
13th-Nov-2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
I had elevated blood pressure at a couple of prenatal appointments towards the end when I was getting nervous about them wanting to induce me, which of course, made them want to induce me even more. Unfortunately, the doctor I saw didn't believe that stress/anxiety could affect BP at all! So, I left the office in a huff, refusing their stupid induction. When I was at the hospital in labor though, everything was fine because I was relaxed and we were there on my terms.

Good luck! As long as you have an understanding doctor, you probably don't have to worry. You could ask your doctor if he's concerned about you having high BP during labor and if that could post any issues.
13th-Nov-2008 11:49 pm (UTC)
Be aggressive about it if you have to -- if your BP is consisently high when you arrive but you're fine at home, have them check you later in the visit or talk seriously with them about charting your BP from home and bringing them the charts if they're concerned and start bullying you.

I had the same problem with my first and have been hit and miss with this pregnancy. I always come in in the high 130s, low 140s / 80s-ish. Then, with this pregnancy, there are days where i'm 118/70. Anyway - with my first, I ended up being induced for pre-e. And I wasn't educated enough or outspoken enough to fight it when I really should have. My BP was fine through the multiple NSTs they did between when the doctor decided on the induction and my scheduled induction date. The entire time I was in the hospital during the induction, while I labored, up until the inevitable c-section, and the dayyyys I was in the hospital afterward, my BP was FINE FINE FINE. In retrospect it really, really pisses me off.

So. Be outspoken if you need to and look for alternate ways of tracking your BP if you have to. Otherwise you may very well end up being pushed into things you really don't want.
14th-Nov-2008 06:21 pm (UTC)
This is exactly what I was going to say. Well, the first paragraph. ;) Charting your BP is a great way to prove to the doctor about the "white coat syndrome"... my OB actually suggested that I start charting it myself, since I've been on the high side of normal in the past.

I had a miscarriage last year, and it makes me nervous every time I go in to see my OB. I'm always worried that there's going to be something wrong with the baby, and I'm sure that makes my BP go up. So charting at home when I'm relaxed is a good way to prove to myself that it's just my nerves.
14th-Nov-2008 12:20 am (UTC)
my DR told me that the reason my water broke at 34 weeks was because my blood pressure was so high the baby couldn't take the environment (of the womb)- but, it wasn't white coat syndrome for me- my blood pressure just went up after 28 weeks
I got very puffy with my last pregnancy and my face and nose swelled- everyone constantly asked if I was having a girl (which I was) they all said that changes your face (having a girl)
but, everyone has their story of how they can tell...
and hey- they have a 50% chance of getting it right
I don't take those comments seriously
14th-Nov-2008 03:21 am (UTC)
I've always been a doctor-phobe, and my solution is to have a homebirth. Not to say that's the right choice for you.. but it could make everything go a lot smoother. I personally just do much better when I'm not worried about people sticking things in me and doing things to me. It's a control issue for me. I don't think I'd be able to labor successfully in a hospital, because there'd be too much adrenaline in my blood, which inhibits the uterus from doing its job.

I am seeing an OB in a hospital-like setting for my prenatal care, and it is kinda stressful. But my BP has been normal.
14th-Nov-2008 08:09 pm (UTC)
it is thought that with boys women do not look pregnant from behind, while with girls they do as it is thought that with the excess estrogen their pelvic bones spread more. Also, this "accounts" for why girls are lower and wider when viewed from the front.
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