Pregnancy and High Blood Pressure

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High blood pressure is a serious issue during pregnancy, especially for those who have chronic hypertension. Chronic hypertension refers to high blood pressure already present before pregnancy. It also includes high blood pressure before 20 weeks of pregnancy or lasts for longer than 12 weeks after giving birth. The high blood pressure during pregnancy may be a sign of preeclampsia. Although high blood pressure can be related preeclampsia, both are different. If you were diagnosed with hypertension before becoming pregnant, you may be wondering how this will affect your pregnancy, or even if you should become pregnant at all.

Is healthy pregnancy possible with High Blood Pressure?

It is ideal to consult doctor before you get pregnant and give the healthcare provider an opportunity to check whether high blood-pressure is under control and to review medications. Certain medications for high blood pressure are not safe during pregnancy and may harm the baby. There are chances for complications such as congestive heart failure, vision changes, stroke, seizures, and kidney or liver problems if one develop preeclampsia in addition to chronic hypertension.

Am I predisposed to develop preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia is high blood pressure condition that occurs exclusively during pregnancy period. Even if the chronic high blood pressure is under control before getting pregnant, there are chances to develop preeclampsia, as well. Preeclampsia may force the doctor for inducing labor before due date to prevent further pregnancy complications or to even recommend a cesarean birth.


High-risk pregnancy

One indicator of high-risk pregnancy includes chronic medical problems such as high blood pressure. Therefore if hypertension and pregnancy comes together, this pregnancy can be at high risk. It is recommended to visit a perinatologist, who is an obstetrician who specializes in the care of high-risk pregnancies. They give expert care to women who develop complications during pregnancy and for those who have pre-existing medical conditions. In addition, one may be referred to a perinatal care center before delivery so as to lessen the likelihood the baby becoming ill. Normally, these centers work together with obstetricians and a newborn intensive care unit in order to provide the best care for both mother and baby.

Effects of high blood pressure on baby during pregnancy

Chronic hypertension has the possibility for a number of adverse effects on the developing baby which includes,

  • Impairment of the baby’s growth
  • Higher risk of breathing problems during labor or even before
  • Higher risk of placental abruption
  • Possible side effects from the medications.


How to manage high blood pressure during pregnancy?

It is possible to successfully manage the condition of chronic hypertension during pregnancy, even though it is not completely curable. Taking care of themselves with the measures below is the best way to take care of the developing baby.

Below are some of the measures to be taken care of:

  • To have a healthy diet and to limit the sodium intake.
  • Keep all prenatal appointments
  • Stay physically active, although your healthcare provider may suggest bed rest
  • Take your blood pressure medications the way you are supposed to
  • Do not smoke, drink alcohol, or take illicit drugs
  • Monitor your weight gain and don’t try to gain too much