Is High Cholesterol During Pregnancy Normal?

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One of the normal pregnancies is a high level of cholesterol and triglycerides. Albeit harmful to your health, this is one thing that is pretty natural during your pregnancy. The cause for this is the way a mother’s womb nurtures the little one.

When you are pregnant, the placenta plays an important role in the development of the baby. It assists in the flow of nutrients that plays an important role in the baby’s growth. More than normal cholesterol levels help in rapid growth. Both the baby and the placenta are helped by this. The high cholesterol also produces estrogen and progesterone that prepare your body for the pregnancy.

It is pretty evident why this is a natural development. Unfortunately, checking your cholesterol level during pregnancy is unlikely to give an accurate result. Furthermore, if you have high cholesterol before pregnancy, you might experience a rapid rise. Thus low cholesterol and pregnancy are not something that goes hand in hand. However, there are ways to keep the level under check.

What are the risks?

Let’s get the heavy part off the chest part. Having a high cholesterol level during your pregnancy rarely causes any harm to you and your baby. The rise in level is normal and temporary. For further assurance, you can always check your cholesterol level during pregnancy.

Checking your triglycerides level is also advised. High triglycerides during pregnancy are also pretty normal. In the rarest scenarios, this poses some harm to the mom to be. This is particularly observed in women who have high triglycerides in their blood before pregnancy. These individuals are vulnerable to acute pancreatitis which leads to severe abdominal pain.

Like it is always said, a high cholesterol level could be costly in the long run. Hence, it would be wise to keep the level under check during pregnancy. The last thing you want is bad health ruining your motherhood.

How to keep the cholesterol under check?

There are ways to keep the cholesterol level during pregnancy under check. These ways do not necessarily answer the question “How to lower cholesterol?” Normally, your cholesterol level returns to its pre-pregnancy stage 4-5 weeks after delivery.

  • Some women take high cholesterol combating medication even before pregnancy. In such cases, you are advised to consult a doctor when you are pregnant. Some of these medications can be harmful to the baby. It will be wise to change the prescription a bit during pregnancy.
  • Increase your physical activity. Do not indulge in heavy load work during pregnancy. Rather try some pregnancy-friendly exercises regularly.
  • Limit your saturated fat, fried food, and sugar intake during pregnancy. Rather eat a lot of fiber. You can eat healthy fat like those in nuts, avocados, etc.
  • Modify your diet by adding more supplements to it. Also, add omega-30rich foods. Consult with a dietician to develop a healthy diet.

Chest pain is one of the most common high cholesterol symptoms. If you experience the same, do not wait to consult with a doctor.

The washout period

The washout period is important for those who use cholesterol-lowering medication before pregnancy. It is advised that you lower your medication intake, 3 months before you plan to conceive. These 3 months are known as the “Washout period”.

By the end of this period, all traces of the medications would be gone from your bloodstream. It is important since most of these medications can be harmful to your baby. It does not necessarily mean you stop using the medications. All you need to do is to alter the prescription.

Consult with a doctor to lower the dosage or change the medicines. Normal medication can be continued once the breastfeeding period is over. Some cholesterol-lowering drugs are safe to use during pregnancy.

In other cases, your pregnancy can be unplanned. This might be at a time when you are already using cholesterol-lowering drugs. You cannot go through the washout period in such a scenario. It is advised that you consult a doctor and change your medications.

Normal cholesterol levels return 4-5 weeks after you deliver your baby. By normal we mean your pre-pregnancy cholesterol level. Even your triglyceride level will return to normal, one month after your delivery. The levels decrease rapidly when you breastfeed your baby.

Experts advise women to take a cholesterol test 6 to 8 weeks after delivery. By this time your body will as per its pre-pregnancy state. A test at this stage is likely to give fruitful results.

A mother goes through a lot to raise a child. The journey begins right from conceiving the little one. Rest assured that a high cholesterol level during pregnancy is pretty normal. It poses no harm to you and your little one. Still, a mother will leave no stones unturned. So put in a bit more effort and ensure the well-being of both you and your baby. 

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