by caryn (10171 Posts), Tue Sep 05, 2006 10:33 am
Hi Kevin, glad you've found us.
It's not uncommon for bp to stay elevated postpartum in preeclamptics. Often it comes down after a few weeks or months as the body repairs the damage, and sometimes it stays up. The stress of pregnancy, in suceptible women, "nmasks" a tendency towards chronic hypertension, and we develop PIH or PE, and sometimes have chronic hypertension remain after the pregnancy. Here's some quotes from the Working Group Report on High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy:
Blood pressure normalizes postpartum, usually within the first few days of the puerperium, but may take as long as 2 to 4 weeks, especially in severe cases.
Resolution of hypertension is more rapid in patients with gestational hypertension and may lag in those with preeclampsia, especially those with longer duration of preeclampsia and greater extent of renal impairment. This delay in resolution may reflect the time needed for endothelial recovery.
Here's a link to the full report, in case you or your wife are like me and will want to read the whole thing [:D] :
Anecdotally, my bp was 220/116 two days postpartum, on IV mag sulfate and labetalol. I was discharged on labetalol (it's safe for breastfeeding) five days postpartum. It was something like 160/100 at my two week followup, and 140/90 at my six week followup, and I was weaned off of the medication about 4-5 months postpartum when I presented with a bp of 90/60. These days it mostly hovers in the 100-110/65-70 range, and although I am likely to need bp medication as I age, I have definitely recovered.
The medications I see mentioned most often on the boards are labetalol, procardia, atenolol, and aldomet.
Congratulations on the birth of your daughter, and my best wishes for a speedy recovery to your wife! Please keep us posted as she and baby heal -- you (and she) are very welcome here.