What position should a
pregnant woman be in to measure her blood pressure?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists( ACOG) advises that optimal measurement of blood
pressure is performed with the patient comfortably seated , legs uncrossed,
and her back and arm
supported. The middle of the blood pressure cuff on the upper arm
should be level with the heart . She should be relaxed and not talking.
Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) recommendations are
The Society of Obstetric Medicine of Australia and New Zealand
and the American Heart Association Council on High Blood Pressure Research
suggest measurement on the left arm in the left lateral recumbency position is a reasonable alternative to the
seated position during labor [3,4] However, the ACOG cautions the blood
pressure measurement should not be taken in the upper arm with the woman the left lateral recumbency,
because doing do so will give a falsely lower blood pressure
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Task Force on Hypertension in Pregnancy Hypertension in Pregnancy. Hypertension, Pregnancy Induced –Practice Guideline wq244 .2013
Magee LA, Pels A, Helewa M, Rey E, von Dadelszen P; Canadian Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy Working Group.Diagnosis, evaluation, and management of the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy: executive summary.
J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2014 May;36(5):416-41. English, French.
3. Pickering TG, et. al., Recommendations for blood
pressure measurement in humans and experimental animals: part 1: blood pressure
measurement in humans: a statement for professionals from the Subcommittee of
Professional and Public Education of the American Heart Association Council on
High Blood Pressure Research.
Circulation. 2005 Feb 8;111(5):697-716.
Lowe SA, et al., The SOMANZ Guideline for the Management of Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy
Hypertension in pregnancy: executive summary.
Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Nov;122(5):1122-31. doi:10.1097/01.AOG.0000437382.03963.88.PMID:24150027