BSIP LAURENT / CATHY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP LAURENT / CATHY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood pressure in pregnancy. A pregnant woman has her blood pressure measured by a sphygmomanometer. The grey cuff (centre left) is inflated around the upper arm to stop blood flow in the main artery. The cuff is then slowly deflated, first to record systolic pressure of the pumping heart, then to record diastolic pressure of the relaxed heart between pumps. Blood pressure is expressed as a difference between these two measurements, in millimetres of mercury (mm Hg). Blood pressure varies over the day, but is an important measure of bodily health. Pregnant women normally have a raised blood pressure.
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