High Blood Pressure After Pregnancy

Submitted by Jenifer on January 19, 2012

To understand high blood pressure after pregnancy, it is important to first get acquainted with a few facts about high blood pressure during pregnancy. The two conditions are linked and an understanding of one makes it easier to tackle the other. Some women have high blood pressure even before their pregnancy, while others develop it during the course of their pregnancy. There are different types of high blood pressure that may develop during pregnancy. Some of them are:-


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  1. Gestational hypertension
  2. Chronic hypertension: If the woman develops high blood pressure before getting pregnant, or when she is pregnant but before completing 20 weeks of her pregnancy, it is called chronic hypertension. This type of high blood pressure does not go away after delivery. Experts are not sure what the causes of this high blood pressure are.

    Lifestyle, diet as well as genes are probable factors.
  3. Preeclampsia: The above mentioned types of hypertension could lead to preeclampsia. In this condition, along with high blood pressure, the woman also has protein in her urine after the 20th week.

High blood pressure during pregnancy is when the readings are 140/90 or higher. If the reading is 180/110 or higher, then it is considered to be severe chronic hypertension. Having chronic hypertension during pregnancy puts you more at risk of preeclampsia as well as other complications during pregnancy.

Severe high blood pressure after pregnancy can put you at risk for long term complications from hypertension. These complications include stroke, kidney disease or heart disease. High blood pressure after pregnancy treatment will involve lifestyle changes. You will have to pay a great deal of attention to your diet, your weight, limit the amount of alcohol you drink and cut down (or avoid altogether) on smoking. Vigorous exercise is good and should be practiced as often as possible. Avoid salt in your diet as well. Try to keep stress levels low as this helps in controlling high blood pressure after pregnancy.

Signs of high blood pressure after pregnancy or high blood pressure after pregnancy symptoms may include vision problems (heightened sensitivity to light, blurriness), abnormally severe headaches and even shortness of breath. Preeclampsia may also develop after delivery, so you may experience symptoms of this as well which include upper abdominal pain on the right side, sudden weight gain, swelling in the hands and face and decreased urination. Be sure to contact your medical practitioner immediately if you notice any of these signs of high blood pressure after pregnancy.

The best way to avoid suffering from high blood pressure after pregnancy is to ensure that you start looking after yourself even before you conceive. If you have hypertension, do see your doctor before you try to get pregnant. He/she can help to get your blood pressure under control before you conceive.

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