Hypertension During Pregnancy
Submitted by Pregnancy and Baby Care team on January 18, 2012
Hypertension during pregnancy is a serious side effect that should be addressed immediately. It occurs when the systolic blood pressure is higher by 30 points and the diastolic blood pressure is higher than 15 points on what the normal readings are during pregnancy. High blood pressure could also mean that the baby is under stress.
It can turn the pregnancy into a life threatening situation and lead to breathing problems, strokes or seizures, maternal kidney failure, placental abruption, premature labor or stillbirth. The baby may suffer from oxygen...
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...complications or inter uterine growth restriction. High blood pressure or hypertension can be differentiated into the following:
- Chronic hypertension: The blood pressure was high before pregnancy.
- Gestational hypertension: This is when the blood pressure rises, for the first time, during the pregnancy.
- Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH): This is also known as Preeclampsia or Toxemia and usually occurs after 20 weeks. It can cause serious problems for both the baby and the mother.
Some women are more at risk that others for hypertension. These include:
- Women who have a history of high blood pressure or a family history of hypertension.
- Women who are overweight or smoke - either before or during the pregnancy.
- Women whose first pregnancy occurs either before 17 or after 35
- Women with underlying health problems such as heart condition, circulatory problems or diabetes.
- Women who are carrying more than one baby.
You will be closely monitored once the doctor diagnoses high blood pressure. You will need to see your doctor more regularly and blood and urine tests will be ordered to check kidney function. You might even be admitted into hospital and induced early so as to protect your health and the baby's health.
Anti hypertensive drugs are not recommended for women who suffer with mildly high hypertension (140/90 to 150/100 mm HG). Treatment may be started if pressure is higher than 150/100 mm HG as this helps to reduce some of the complications given above. There is no treatment to prevent preeclampsia. The only way to deal with this is to deliver the baby.
Although high blood pressure and related problems during pregnancy can be serious, many women who suffer from this and preeclampsia go on to deliver healthy babies. Obtaining regular pre natal care is the most important way of looking after yourself and your baby. After delivery, if you suffer from chronic high blood pressure, it will not change but stay high; if from gestational hypertension or PIH, your pressure will return to normal.
Read more articles from the During Pregnancy Category.