Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Health Tip

Make sleep a priority when you’re expecting. Skimping on sleep — or getting too much — when pregnant may lead to high blood pressure.

Getting enough sleep in early pregnancy can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure or preeclampsia in the third trimester. Fewer than five hours of shut-eye or more than 10 were linked to elevated blood pressure readings later in pregnancy. High blood pressure during pregnancy can be dangerous for both mom and baby. Complications of high blood pressure during pregnancy, also known as preeclampsia if accompanied by protein in the urine, include lack of blood flow to the placenta, resulting in less oxygen and nutrients to your baby. This could lead to low birth weight, slow development and preterm birth. Because moms-to-be tend to need more rest, aim for eight to nine hours of sleep a night. To do so, establish a regular bedtime schedule, allowing yourself time to unwind before bed. That means no laptops, BlackBerries or TVs in the bedroom. Regular exercise during the day can also help promote better sleep.

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