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What Are The Risks Of Hypertension During Pregnancy

What Are Some Common Complications Of Pregnancy

Hypertension During Pregnancy (Obstetrics – High Risk)

Some women experience health problems during pregnancy. These complications can involve the mother’s health, the fetus’s health, or both. Even women who were healthy before getting pregnant can experience complications. These complications may make the pregnancy a high-risk pregnancy.

For the latest information on COVID-19 and pregnancy, visit CDC at .

Getting early and regular prenatal care can help decrease the risk for problems by enabling health care providers to diagnose, treat, or manage conditions before they become serious. Prenatal care can also help identify mental health concerns related to pregnancy, such as anxiety and depression.

Some common complications of pregnancy include, but are not limited to, the following.

How Is High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy Treated

High blood pressure during pregnancy can be treated in a variety of ways depending on the severity, cause and time of onset. Mothers with all forms of hypertension will need to be monitored closely. This could include more prenatal visits, ultrasounds, and other tests to ensure the babys well-being .

Can I Lower My Risk

Although there isn’t a way to prevent gestational hypertension, you can do everything in your power to keep yourself and your babies as healthy as possible throughout your pregnancy. Healthy lifestyle choices can help control your blood pressure. And if you work closely with your doctor, you may help catch any problems early. That gives you the best chance for a healthy outcome.

See your doctor. As soon as you think you might be pregnant, see your doctor. And be sure to go to all your scheduled prenatal appointments. Discuss ways you can lessen problems from high blood pressure.

Your doctor will test your blood pressure throughout your pregnancy and may have you monitor it at home.


Take prenatal vitamins. You need more nutrients during pregnancy. According to some studies, two of these nutrientsfolic acid and calcium — may lower your risk for gestational hypertension. Either way, you should take a prenatal vitamin with these two nutrients, among others, every day. This helps prevent birth defects and helps keep you and your baby healthy.

Eat healthy foods. Make sure the foods you choose are nutritious. Try to put fruits, veggies, whole-grain breads, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products on your plate every day. Ask your doctor whether you should lower your salt intake. And learn what a healthy weight gain is for you during pregnancy.

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Why Is Gestational Hypertension A Concern

With high blood pressure, there is an increase in the resistance of blood vessels. This may hinder blood flow in many different organ systems in the expectant mother including the liver, kidneys, brain, uterus, and placenta.

There are other problems that may develop as a result of severe gestational hypertension . Placental abruption may occur in some pregnancies. Gestational hypertension can also lead to fetal problems including intrauterine growth restriction and stillbirth.

If untreated, severe gestational hypertension may cause dangerous seizures and even death in the mother and fetus. Because of these risks, it may be necessary for the baby to be delivered early, before 37 weeks gestation.

How Do I Know If I Have Gestational Hypertension

High Blood Pressure Risks During Pregnancy

At each prenatal checkup, your healthcare provider will check your blood pressure and urine levels. Your doctor may also check your kidney and blood-clotting functions, order blood tests, perform an ultrasound scan to check your babys growth, and use a Doppler Scan to measure the efficiency of blood flow to the placenta.

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About This Research Topic

Pregnancy-related conditions are increasingly recognised as important determinants of women’s long-term health. Mothers with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy , such as preeclampsia and gestational hypertension, have increased cardiometabolic health risks long after delivery. It has been hypothesised …

Keywords:Preeclampsia, Gestational Hypertension, Hypertension During Pregnancy, Blood Pressure, Cardiovascular Disease

Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Know The Risks Of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

As a soon-to-be parent, whether having their first child or their fifth, the desire is always to experience the healthiest pregnancy possible. However, health concerns like high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can pose significant risks.

Hypertension increases the risk of developing certain pregnancy complications, especially if these issues are left untreated.

Understanding the relationship between high blood pressure and fetal health will help keep both mother and child as safe as possible during pregnancy.

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What Is Considered High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

A blood pressure that is greater than 130/90 mm Hg or that is 15 degrees higher on the top number from where you started before pregnancy may be cause for concern.

High blood pressure during pregnancy is defined as 140 mm Hg or higher systolic, with diastolic 90 mm Hg or higher.

Early in pregnancy, usually from 5 weeks to the middle of the second trimester, a pregnant womans blood pressure may actually decrease. This is because pregnancy hormones can stimulate blood vessels to widen. As a result, the resistance to blood flow isnt as high.

Does Blood Pressure Remain High After Birth

Hypertension during pregnancy

High blood pressure in pregnancy usually disappears after the birth of a baby. However, there is still some possibility of some complications during the first few days after the birth and you will need to be monitored closely for some weeks.

And in the case of chronic hypertension where blood pressure rises due to another medical condition, you will need to see their doctor to make sure their blood pressure returns to safe levels.

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Hypertension During Pregnancy Is Associated With Increased Risk Of Stroke In Offspring

Sophia Antipolis 1 June 2021:A study in 5.8 million children has found a higher incidence of stroke four decades later in those whose mother had high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia while pregnant. The research is presented at ESC Heart & Stroke 2021, an online scientific conference of the European Society of Cardiology .1

Our findings indicate that hypertensive disorders during pregnancy are associated with increased risks of stroke and potentially heart disease in offspring up to the age of 41 years, said study author Dr. Fen Yang, PhD student, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Studies with longer follow-up are needed to confirm the results and improve understanding of the possible underlying mechanisms.

Previous research has suggested that children exposed to maternal hypertensive disorders during gestation have increased risks of preterm birth, foetal growth restriction and cardiovascular risk factors including high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes later in life. But evidence for a direct link with severe cardiovascular disease is limited. This study explored this link focusing on ischaemic heart disease and stroke.

This population-based cohort study linked national registers from two countries. Live singleton births in Sweden and Finland were followed for ischaemic heart disease and stroke until 2014. Hypertensive pregnancy disorders were identified including high blood pressure , and preeclampsia .


What Should I Do If I Have High Blood Pressure Before During Or After Pregnancy

Before Pregnancy

  • Make a plan for pregnancy and talk with your doctor or health care team about the following:
  • Any health problems you have or had and any medicines you are taking. If you are planning to become pregnant, talk to your doctor.7 Your doctor or health care team can help you find medicines that are safe to take during pregnancy.
  • Ways to keep a healthy weight through healthy eating and regular physical activity.1,7

During Pregnancy

  • Get early and regular prenatal careexternal icon. Go to every appointment with your doctor or health care professional.
  • Talk to your doctor about any medicines you take and which ones are safe. Do not stop or start taking any type of medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, without first talking with your doctor.7
  • Keep track of your blood pressure at home with a home blood pressure monitorexternal icon. Contact your doctor if your blood pressure is higher than usual or if you have symptoms of preeclampsia. Talk to your doctor or insurance company about getting a home monitor.
  • Continue to choose healthy foods and keep a healthy weight.8

After Pregnancy

  • Pay attention to how you feel after you give birth. If you had high blood pressure during pregnancy, you have a higher risk for stroke and other problems after delivery. Tell your doctor or call 9-1-1 right away if you have symptoms of preeclampsia after delivery. You might need emergency medical care.9,10

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Tips For Tracking Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

There are ways to track your blood pressure between doctor visits.

You can buy a blood pressure monitor from a pharmacy or online medical goods store. Many of these devices will go on your wrist or upper arm. To check the monitors accuracy, take it to your doctors office and compare the readings on the monitor to those from your doctor.

Visit a grocery store, pharmacy, or other store that has a machine that takes blood pressure readings.

For the most accurate readings, take your blood pressure at the same time every day. Take it while seated with your legs uncrossed. Use the same arm each time.

Notify your doctor immediately if you have repeated high blood pressure readings that are four hours apart or symptoms of high blood pressure.

If you have high blood pressure during pregnancy, there can be complications.

High Blood Pressure Treatment In Pregnancy Is Safe And Could Reduce Mother’s Risks

The Dangers of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

Treating high blood pressure during pregnancy is safe and may be helpful at lower thresholds than previously thought, a new scientific report says.

“For decades, the benefits of blood pressure treatment for pregnant women were unclear,” Dr. Vesna D. Garovic said in a news release. She led a committee of experts that reviewed and analyzed existing research. “And there were concerns about fetal well-being from exposure to antihypertensive medications.”

But the report, published Wednesday as a scientific statement from the American Heart Association in its journal Hypertension, said treatment may reduce a woman’s risk for severe high blood pressure without endangering her child.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, during pregnancy is a major cause of complications and death for mothers and their babies, and it increases women’s short- and long-term risks for cardiovascular disease. It also increases the risk for preterm delivery and low birthweight.

Among high-income countries, the U.S. has one of the highest maternal mortality rates for high blood pressure-related problems. Cardiovascular disease, including stroke and heart failure, now accounts for up to half of all maternal deaths in the U.S., where pregnancy-related stroke hospitalizations increased more than 60% from 1994 to 2011.

In the U.S., high blood pressure during pregnancy disproportionately affects women who are Black, American Indian or Alaska Native.

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Key Points About Gestational Hypertension

  • Gestational hypertension is a form of high blood pressure in pregnancy. It occurs in about 3 in 50 pregnancies.
  • This condition can affect the health of both the mother and the baby, depending on how severe the issue is.
  • The goal of treatment is to prevent the condition from getting worse and causing other problems.

High Blood Pressure Treatment In Pregnancy Appears Safe Prevents Maternal Heart Risks

American Heart Association
High blood pressure during pregnancy remains a major cause of maternal and fetal pregnancy-related complications and death, and it increases women’s short- and long-term risks for cardiovascular disease. Emerging data from clinical trials and observational research support the benefits and safety of blood pressure treatment during pregnancy. Continued investigation is critical to determine which blood pressure levels, during- and post-pregnancy, both for starting therapy and as treatment goals, are beneficial for the mother and safe and beneficial for the fetus.

Treatment for high blood pressure during pregnancy appears safe for many women and may reduce maternal risk for severe hypertension without increasing fetal and neonatal risks, according to a new American Heart Association scientific statement published today in the Association’s journal Hypertension.

A scientific statement is an expert analysis of current research and may inform future clinical practice guidelines. In this statement, “Hypertension in Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Blood Pressure Goals, and Pharmacotherapy,” experts in obstetrics and gynecology, maternal-fetal medicine, cardiology, nephrology, hypertension and internal medicine reviewed and analyzed quality studies focusing on high blood pressure during pregnancy including gestational hypertension and preeclampsia/eclampsia.

The statement also highlights these areas of concern:

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Living With High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

Go to each of your prenatal visits with your doctor. This will allow him or her to monitor your blood pressure. Your doctor may ask you to record your blood pressure at home. He or she can give advice on how to do that. Your doctor will check your urine at each visit. High levels of protein in urine can be a symptom of preeclampsia.

Discuss all your medicines with your doctor. Also, dont start or stop taking any medicines, including over-the-counter medicines, without talking to your doctor. Some of these may affect your blood pressure.

Signs Suggesting A Secondary Medical Cause Of Chronic Hypertension

High blood pressure, pre-eclampsia and pregnancy risks

Centripetal obesity, “buffalo hump,” and/or wide purple abdominal striae suggest glucocorticoid excess other clinical signs may demonstrate hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, or growth hormone excess. In addition, a systolic bruit heard over the abdomen or in the flanks suggests renal artery stenosis, whereas radio femoral delay or diminished pulses in the lower versus upper extremities suggests coarctation of the aorta.

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Can High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy Be Prevented Or Avoided

It cant be prevented. However, you can lower your chances of getting it by making necessary adjustments before getting pregnant. These include getting or maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly.

If you have chronic hypertension before you get pregnant, talk with your doctor. He or she will look at how well your hypertension is being managed and let you know if you need to make any changes before getting pregnant.

What Causes Hypertension During Pregnancy

There are several possible causes for hypertension during pregnancy, including the following major factors:

  • Obesity during pregnancy
  • Carrying more than one child
  • Being age over 40

Of the above causes, obesity and failing to stay active are the major risk factors for hypertension during pregnancy period.

In addition, women who have had preexisting high blood pressure are at a higher risk of complications during pregnancy than the women with normal blood pressure.

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What Causes Gestational Hypertension

The cause of gestational hypertension is unknown. Some conditions may increase the risk of developing the condition, including the following:

  • Pre-existing hypertension
  • Kidney disease
  • Hypertension with a previous pregnancy
  • Mother’s age younger than 20 or older than 40
  • Multiple fetuses
  • African-American race

What Is High Blood Pressure

Study: High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy Increases ...

Blood pressure is the force of blood that pushes against the walls of your arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood away from your heart to other parts of the body. Each time your heart beats, it pumps blood to the arteries. If the pressure in your arteries becomes too high, you have high blood pressure . High blood pressure can put extra stress on your organs. This can lead to heart attack, heart failure, stroke and kidney failure.

Some women have high blood pressure before they get pregnant. Others have high blood pressure for the first time during pregnancy. About 8 in 100 women have some kind of high blood pressure during pregnancy. If you have high blood pressure, talk to your health care provider. Managing your blood pressure can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

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Sample Description And Characteristics

A total of 4782 women from 2443 sibships participated in the second FBPP study visit between 2000 and 2004. Demographic characteristics measured at the second FBPP visit are shown by network in . At least one pregnancy that lasted more than 6 months was reported by 4064 women , overall. Of these women, 643 reported hypertension in at least one of their pregnancies. Among those, 209 reported a history of preeclampsia. The percentages of women reporting hypertension in pregnancy did not differ significantly among non-Hispanic blacks , non-Hispanic whites , and Hispanic whites however, the percentage was significantly lower in Asians . Education had no significant effect on the percentage of women reporting hypertension in pregnancy, that is, the percentage did not differ significantly between those who did or did not complete high school. As major differences were present across the networks, all subsequent analyses were adjusted for age, network, education, and race.

Risk Factors Or Complications Of Hypertension During Pregnancy

If Preeclampsia develops, it might cause serious damages to organs including brain and kidneys. Hypertension during pregnancy with seizures may become Eclampsia.

Eclampsia is the condition in which one or more convulsion occur in a pregnant woman suffering from high blood pressure this often followed by a coma causing a threat to the health of mother and baby.

Hypertension during pregnancy can also have an effect on the babys growth rate. This can result in a low birth weight of the baby.

Some other complications can include

  • Preterm delivery
  • Placental abruption
  • Caesarean sections

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Gestational Hypertension: Pregnancy Induced Hypertension

Gestational Hypertension also referred to as Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension is a condition characterized by high blood pressure during pregnancy. Gestational Hypertension can lead to a serious condition called Preeclampsia, also referred to as Toxemia. Hypertension during pregnancy affects about 6-8% of pregnant women.


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