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Thread: White coat high blood pressure - has anyone overcome this?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    23

    White coat high blood pressure - has anyone overcome this?

    Have always had low blood pressure my whole life, not like dangerously low but like 105/65 or around there. I'm pregnant with my third baby now and in the last month have somehow now developed "white coat hypertension" where when I am at a medical provider and they take my vitals, my BP shoots up and my pulse races. I am honestly surprised this has not happened sooner in my life because I've struggled with anxiety for many years now, specifically health anxiety. But somehow it hasn't been an issue until now.

    When I'm at the doctor, my BP will be in the 130s or even high 140s over 90 or something like that. My OB has expressed that he isn't concerned about this because we are both pretty positive it's just happening when I'm there. I have taken my BP on a home monitor after getting back from the doctor and within a couple readings it's come down to my normal level, 110/70 or so.

    My anxiety with being at the doctor probably started now because it's still COVID and every time I go anywhere public but especially a healthcare setting I find myself getting nervous about COVID exposure and just being there in general. I also wear an N95 with another cloth mask covering for extra protection and I find it hard to breathe normally through these. I always feel like I'm out of breath when I'm at appointments, already a fairly normal pregnancy situation made worse by the stress and the masking and trying to have conversation and answer questions from the nurse.

    In addition to this COVID anxiety, I have had an extremely stressful last year (who hasn't) and especially last six months due to other big stressors that have cropped up. I also wasn't able to exercise at all in the first trimester due to feeling so ill and the weather being so horrific. I've just started daily exercise again as I'm finally feeling up to it and the weather has improved.

    My question is - has anyone had this white coat hypertension situation and had it later resolve? It's hard for me to see how this will ever not be an issue in my life again as doctor visits, even in pregnancy, are so far apart that it seems impossible to ever get desensitized to this new phobia. I'm also especially worried this will cause an issue when I deliver my baby later this year, like the BP readings will be really high and they'll decide they need to do an emergency C section or something. I know worrying about this now is pointless and only will make things worse. I do have some hope that even if I do have high BP readings upon labor starting and initially being in the hospital, over the course of an hour or two things will stabilize and I'll calm down enough that the readings will lower.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,226

    Re: White coat high blood pressure - has anyone overcome this?

    Yes, me! Itís even on my medical record.
    When I was pregnant I had to have my BP taken, and then go and lay down for 20 minutes and then have it again.

    I have no idea how to manage it Iím sorry! No-one has ever given me advice on that.
    Good luck with your pregnancy xx


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    1,065

    Re: White coat high blood pressure - has anyone overcome this?

    I always have higher BP on arrival at the docs office. It’s nothing to be concerned about though.

    speaking from my own pregnancy, when it’s time to be admitted to the hospital to give birth, you’ll be too focused on everything else that’s going on to worry about your BP - I promise you that!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    1,007

    Re: White coat high blood pressure - has anyone overcome this?

    I'm not pregnant but always have extreme high BP in any clinics or doctors. So much so the clinic I go to for my pill refused to give me them, saying it was too high to give me them (got them from.gp later after explaining my white coat syndrome).
    The best techniques I learned were deep breathing and learning how to distract your focus when having it taken. Take a book with you or something you can read whilst it's being taken and have a look at diaphragm breathing. Helped me loads!

  5. #5

    Re: White coat high blood pressure - has anyone overcome this?

    I normally have very low blood pressure 100/60ish but at the doctor's office it is much higher, especially the top #, not unusual for it to hit 150 or 160. If your bp is taken as soon as you arrive in the exam room it's going to be a bit higher simply because you have just walked, not necessarily because of white coat syndrome. The bp should always be taken after you have been still for at least 5 minutes or at the end of the appointment.

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