White coat syndrome during pregnancy…

posted 2 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 2
4245 posts
Honey bee

I have the same issue with my blood pressure. It’s always high on the first reading. First of all- the numbers you posted don’t seem bad (to me) at all- so please don’t stress about hurting your baby. I’m 36 weeks and during my past few appointments (so within the past twoish months), I’ve been pretty consistently in the mid 130s/75-85, depending on the day. I asked the doctor who said it followed a pretty normal pattern for pregnancy and they only get concerned if you’re consistently 140/90 or higher. SO- don’t worry. At my last appointment, I was soooo worked up after attending an awful meeting, it was something like 157/99- the nurse just let me sit and chill for a minute and it went down. 

Can you switch OBs, or just ask him to take it a second time? I luckily see the same nurse every time (not always the same doctor), but once I told her “oh yeah, my blood pressure is always high the first time” she’s been really good at taking it, letting me chill out for a minute while she books my next appointment, and we do it again. If he’s not understanding- I guess just rest easy knowing that this is a fairly normal thing to happen (it’s known as white coat syndrome for a reason, it happens to a lot of people!), monitor it like you’ve been doing and try not to worry about it overly much- doctors are people too and they aren’t always 100% right.

Post # 3
242 posts
Helper bee

I’ve been worrying about the same thing for myself. I’m only 5 weeks, but this has been a concern rattling in my head since I got my first BFP.

I think recording at home and taking those recordings in seem like a really wise bet. But if you have the opportunity, I agree with potentially switching OB’s. You want someone who can be sympathetic to your situation. White coat syndrome is a real thing, and having him lecture you about medicine and killing your baby isn’t going to make things easier the next time you go in. 

That being said—if you can—try not to worry too much. And continue being your best advocate. Your blood pressure spiking in moments of anxiety isn’t going to hurt the baby. 


Post # 4
741 posts
Busy bee

As a Doctor I can tell you two things here…

Firstly, switch doctors if you can’t get yours to listen to you. I’m in emergency medicine, and we almost always take blood pressure twice, once on intake, and once afterwards. The anxiety is real. If your doctor won’t listen, find one you’re comfortable with. That being said, I wouldnt allow a patient to strictly use the readings they get at home as my baseline, too much room for error. Your best bet is to just ask the doctor to take your pressure once, at the very end of your appointment once you’ve settled in. 

Secondly, your highest readings here are actually not that high, above what  they should be, but not a significant cause for concern yet. No doctor should tell you that you’ll kill your baby, ever, but especially not with these readings.

Good luck!


Post # 5
112 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

My doctor took mine several times at her office when I went in to confirm my pregnancy. Mine was similar to yours, 130s/80s at the lowest. She told me to start taking my blood pressure at home and record them so I have been doing that. I was very concerned that I had something wrong until I was at home, able to sit for a few minutes and take my own blood pressure then it was completely normal. I know I have white coat syndrome and I am glad she told me to take it at home because now I wont be worrying that I am doing something to he baby!

Post # 6
1034 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I never used to have white coat syndrome, but after losing my first pregnancy, prenatal appointments make me anxious. I’m currently 23 weeks pregnant with my second child (third pregnancy) and my doctor is very accommodating. She does the same as she did with my pregnancy with my son- she does a quick ultrasound to let me see the baby to calm my anxiety, does whatever else she needs to do, gives me a few minutes to come down from my panic, then takes my blood pressure. My mom is a nurse and also monitors my Bridal Party when I ask her to. I understand your doctor being concerned for the baby if he doesn’t know you well and know that this is an ongoing issue for you, but going to a doctor who doesn’t know/understand you and tries to make you panic will not give you accurate blood pressure readings. If you feel you aren’t being heard, you should switch doctors.

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