You may think of high blood pressure as a problem you’ll have to confront when you’re older, but it turns out, many pregnant women deal with it too. Hypertension can be common in pregnancy but can lead to complications—from preeclampsia to low birth weight to higher risk of placenta abruption (placenta separating from the uterus before labor) to kidney problems. If you were diagnosed with gestational hypertension or are at risk of developing it during pregnancy, it’s important to find a way to keep your blood pressure under control; and since a lot of hypertension medications are not recommended during pregnancy, the key to doing so is making a few lifestyle changes.

Profile view of pregnant woman looking at ultrasound photos

Your body in the second trimester

Prepare yourself for your second trimester with support and information from Pediatric Nurse, Diana Spalding. Learn about your changing body and what to expect from this trimester’s medical appointments.

7 natural ways you can lower your blood pressure during pregnancy

1. Ditch the sodium

Although your body requires sodium in small amounts, consuming too much sodium can lead to hypertension. No need to avoid all table salt that you’d use to season your cooking, but try to avoid processed foods and fast foods, which are notoriously high in sodium. If you buy processed foods, try to choose low-sodium options. You can also rinse canned food to rid them of any extra sodium.

2. Eat more whole grains and potassium-rich foods

Go bananas on, well, bananas—and other high potassium foods, like sweet potatoes, prunes, raisins, kidney beans and tomatoes. All are high in potassium and can help you lower your blood pressure.

Studies have shown that whole grains, which are rich in dietary fibers, can also help reduce hypertension. So fuel up on legumes, leafy vegetables, protein and complex carbs, like whole wheat bread. For example, for breakfast you could have a kale and cheddar omelet paired with whole grain toast and a side of fruit.

Related: A nutritionist’s guide to the best foods for pregnancy, from the early days to the third trimester

3. Increase your water intake

In some cases, high blood pressure can be a sign that you’re dehydrated. Pregnancy is a time for increased water intake, so aim to get about half your body weight in ounces of water (not exceeding 100 ounces). Herbal teas, cow’s milk and plant milk, soups and high-water content fruit all count toward your goal, too.

4. Aim to reduce stress

Whether you are pregnant or not, being stressed can actually cause your blood pressure to hike. So try eliminating the things that trigger anxiety, and do what you can to promote relaxation—whether it’s meditation, yoga or breathwork. All these can eventually help you manage labor pain, so it’s good practice for the big day, too.

Related: An overlooked tool in pregnancy and labor? Breathwork

5. Get moving

Implementing a consistent physical routine that you can do throughout your pregnancy is very important. Not only will it relieve stress, increase blood circulation and lower blood pressure, but it will have a positive impact on your baby’s health outcome going forward. So try to exercise 30 minutes every day. And if you don’t usually work out, you can do things that are not too intensive, like walking or swimming.

Related: I desperately needed a prenatal workout to prepare for childbirth and beyond

6. No smoking or alcohol

This probably goes without saying, but avoiding smoking and alcohol during your pregnancy is essential for the safety and health of your baby. What’s more, both alcohol and cigarette smoking can bring your blood pressure up. So if you are still smoking during pregnancy, talk to your doctor to implement a plan to quit.

7. Follow your medication protocol

If you’ve been advised to take any medications, it’s important to adhere to the schedule and take it as noted. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a low-dose aspirin or a hypertension medication that’s shown to be safe in pregnancy. Also, hypertension can be a side effect of some medication. Make sure to talk to your doctor to find out what is safe to take during pregnancy.

A version of this story was originally published on June 7, 2017. It has been updated.