High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy Linked To Later Health Risks
By Kathryn Doyle, Reuters Health
3 Min Read
Women with slightly elevated blood pressure during pregnancy could be more likely to develop so-called metabolic syndrome later, Chinese researchers say.
Metabolic syndrome – a combination of traits and symptoms such as abdominal fat and high blood sugar – is a strong predictor of heart disease and diabetes. So blood pressure at the high end of normal in pregnancy could be an early warning sign, according to the study authors.
The optimal blood pressure levels in pregnant women remain an open question, said lead author Dr. Jian-Min Niu of Guangdong Women and Children Hospital in Guangzhou.
In general, healthy blood pressure usually falls at or below 120/80 mmHg, Niu said. The threshold for high blood pressure, or hypertension, is 140/90 or greater. The range between healthy and high blood pressure is sometimes called prehypertension because readings at the high end of normal may be a stage on the way to full-fledged hypertension.
In many countries, every pregnant woman has at least 10 routine checkups, Niu told Reuters Health by email. However, they will not be informed of risk unless the blood pressure level is at or greater than 140/90 mmHg.
The researchers studied 506 pregnant women with no history of high blood pressure or symptoms of diabetes, measuring their blood pressure, weight and other health metrics several times during pregnancy and for up to a year and a half after they gave birth.
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.
Is It Safer To Deliver A Baby Immediately Or Wait If The Mother Has High Blood Pressure After 34 Weeks Of Pregnancy That Is Not Persistently Severe
What is the issue?
Women who have high blood pressure during pregnancy or who develop pre-eclampsia can develop serious complications. Potential complications for the mother are worsening of pre-eclampsia, development of seizures and eclampsia, HELLP syndrome , detachment of the placenta, liver failure, renal failure, and difficulty breathing because of fluid in the lungs.
Delivering the baby usually stops the mothers high blood pressure from getting worse, but a baby who is born prematurely may have other health problems, such as difficulty breathing, because the lungs are still immature. Induction of labour can lead to overstimulation of contractions and fetal distress. The alternative is waiting to deliver the baby while closely monitoring both the mother and her baby.
Why is this important?
As there are both benefits and risks to planned early delivery compared with waiting when the mother has high blood pressure toward the end of pregnancy, we wanted to know which is the safest option. We looked for clinical trials that compared planned early delivery, by induction of labour or by caesarean section, with a policy of delayed delivery of the baby.
What evidence did we find?
No studies attempted to blind the women or their clinicians to which group they were in. Women and staff were aware of the intervention and this may have affected aspects of care and decision-making. Most of the evidence was of moderate quality, so we can be moderately certain about the findings.
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Does Blood Pressure Remain High After The Birth
High blood pressure in pregnancy usually disappears once the baby is born. However, there may still be some complications during the first few days after the birth and you will need to be monitored carefully for several weeks.
Women who had high blood pressure due to another condition will need to see their doctor to make sure their blood pressure returns to safe levels.
Who Is At Risk For Preeclampsia
You are at higher risk of preeclampsia if you
- Had chronic high blood pressure or chronic kidney disease before pregnancy
- Had high blood pressure or preeclampsia in a previous pregnancy
- Have obesity
- Damage to your kidneys, liver, brain, and other organ and blood systems
- A higher risk of heart disease for you
- Eclampsia, which happens when preeclampsia is severe enough to affect brain function, causing seizures or coma
- HELLP syndrome, which happens when a woman with preeclampsia or eclampsia has damage to the liver and blood cells. It is rare, but very serious.
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Will I Still Have High Blood Pressure After The Baby Is Delivered
High blood pressure during pregnancy typically goes away after the baby is delivered but increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease in the future. Women who had chronic hypertension before pregnancy will usually still have the condition after delivery. Sometimes, blood pressure can remain high after delivery, requiring treatment with medication. Your healthcare provider will work with you after your pregnancy to manage your blood pressure.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/21/2019.
What Should I Do If I Have High Blood Pressure Before During Or After 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
- 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
- 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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Am I Predisposed To Develop Preeclampsia
Preeclampsia is high blood pressure that occurs exclusively in pregnancy. Therefore, even if your chronic high blood pressure is under control before you are pregnant, you may later develop preeclampsia, as well. If you have chronic hypertension, you are more likely to develop preeclampsia, but it does not necessarily mean you will. Also, should you develop preeclampsia, your doctor may recommend inducing labor before your due date to prevent further pregnancy complications. If the preeclampsia is severe, your doctor may recommend a cesarean birth.
High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy Treatment
If you have chronic hypertension, you may have been taking medicine for it before you became pregnant. Tell your doctor which medicine youre taking. He or she may say its okay to continue that medicine. But if the medicine isnt safe for your baby, you may need to switch to another medicine during your pregnancy. Like with all pregnancies, your doctor will check your blood pressure and urine during your regular appointments.
If you have gestational hypertension, your doctor will monitor your blood pressure and urine more closely. He or she will do this to watch for signs of preeclampsia. Your doctor may also monitor your baby. One way to do that is with an ultrasound. This is a painless test that lets your doctor see your baby inside your body.
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Cmo Puede La Hipertensin Arterial Durante El Embarazo Afectar A Mi Beb
Es posible tener hipertensión crónica y pasar a tener un bebé sano. Sin embargo, la hipertensión crónica tiene la posibilidad de una serie de efectos adversos en el bebé en desarrollo.Estas posibles preocupaciones incluyen:
- Daño al;crecimiento del bebé
- Mayor riesgo de problemas respiratorios antes o durante
- Mayor riesgo de desprendimiento prematuro de la placenta
- Los posibles efectos secundarios de los medicamentos que está tomando
Complications Of Hypertension For The Mother
If hypertension is severe or uncontrolled, it can cause complications for the mother and baby.
High blood pressure during pregnancy puts women at an increased risk of more serious health conditions later in life. One revealed that gestational hypertension was associated with a higher risk of ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction , heart failure, and ischemic stroke.
One complication of hypertension is HELLP syndrome. This is a rare life-threatening liver and blood disorder. Doctors consider it to be a severe variant of preeclampsia. HELLP stands for:
- Hemolysis, or the breaking down of red blood cells
- Elevated Liver enzymes, which is a sign of liver damage
- Low Platelet count; platelets are a material that forms blood clots
Other complications associated with high blood pressure during pregnancy include:
- placental abruption, a serious medical condition in which the placenta separates from the wall of the uterus too early
- preterm delivery, or giving birth before the due date, which healthcare providers may advise if the placenta is not providing a enough nutrients and oxygen to the baby or if the mothers life is in danger
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What Are Recommended Blood Pressure Ranges During Pregnancy
Some increases in blood pressure are expected because your blood volume will increase and the pregnancy will be more demanding on your cardiovascular system in general. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends blood pressure in pregnant women be maintained between 120/80 mm Hg and 160/105 mm Hg.
In severe cases, your healthcare provider may decide to induce labor. This is a decision between you and your doctor based on your individual risks and how your blood pressure is affecting the health of you and your baby.
Normal Blood Pressure In Pregnancy
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists state that a pregnant womans blood pressure should also be within the healthy range of less than 120/80 mm Hg.
If blood pressure readings are higher, a pregnant woman may have elevated or high blood pressure. If high blood pressure occurs during pregnancy, it may indicate serious complications such as preeclampsia.
It is important to track and manage blood pressure throughout pregnancy.
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Low Blood Pressure Complications
While many women who have low blood pressure prior and during pregnancy do not have any related issues, there are some complications to be aware of.
Some symptoms of low blood pressure include:
- Blurred vision
- Rapid or shallow breathing
One of the most concerning complications is dizziness because it can lead to fainting, falling, and injury, secondary to the fall. Additionally, research has shown a link between low blood pressure and increased symptoms of morning sickness.
How To Deal With High Blood Pressure From Pregnancy
Generally, most women suffered from high blood pressure from pregnancy. This problem mostly occurs in pregnant women. Ignoring High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy can be dangerous for you.
There can be many reasons for increasing blood pressure in pregnancy, one of which can be your stress. Depression during pregnancy can also cause high blood pressure in women, which can be a risk to the heart.
If there is a problem with blood pressure for a long time, then it can be a risk of hypertension.
Many women have a question that what should be the blood pressure during pregnancy? Or how much should be BP In Pregnancy?
If you have many such questions in your mind, then you can contact the doctor and get answers to your questions.
Many people insist on high blood pressure diet from pregnancy, but here we are telling you what measures should be taken to control blood pressure during pregnancy so that your baby remains healthy along with you.
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Changes In Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
As a woman progresses in her pregnancy, her blood pressure may change or return to pre-pregnancy levels. There are a few possible reasons for this.
The amount of blood in a womans body increases. According to the journal Circulation, a womans blood volume increases by as much as 45 percent during pregnancy. This is extra blood that the heart must pump throughout the body.
The left ventricle becomes thicker and larger. This temporary effect allows the heart to work harder to support the increased blood volume.
The kidneys release increased amounts of vasopressin, a hormone that leads to increased water retention.
In most cases, high blood pressure during pregnancy will decrease after the baby is delivered. In cases where blood pressure remains elevated, your doctor may prescribe medication to get it back to normal.
When To See A Doctor
Any pregnant woman who has any concerns over their health or the developing fetus should talk to or see their doctor or midwife.
People who have high blood pressure or are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure might want to monitor their blood pressure at home.
A healthcare provider can likely recommend the best blood pressure cuffs to use.
If home monitoring indicates that blood pressure is too high or too low, contact a healthcare provider.
Any pregnant woman who experiences signs or symptoms of preeclampsia must seek immediate medical assistance.
There are several ways for a pregnant woman to manage blood pressure safely.
According to March of Dimes, a person can take the following steps:
- take approved blood pressure medication daily
- monitor blood pressure at home
- eat foods rich in nutrients and avoid salt, processed foods, and added sugars
- go to all medical checkups
- avoid drinking, smoking, and recreational drug use
- stay active through walking or other exercises unless otherwise instructed
Women who have high blood pressure during pregnancy should follow all instructions from their healthcare provider. They should notify their doctor or midwife if they have any changes in their blood pressure or feelings.
It is not always possible to prevent high blood pressure, but a person can take steps to keep their blood pressure at normal levels before and during pregnancy.
The recommend a person take the following measures to prevent high blood pressure:
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What Are Possible Complications Of High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy
High blood pressure taxes the blood vessels, which in turn decreases blood flow to the liver, kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, uterus and placenta. When gestational hypertension isnt under control and the placenta isnt getting enough blood, fewer nutrients and oxygen make it to your baby, which can slow fetal growth.
And if gestational hypertension morphs into preeclampsia, premature delivery or placental abruption can occur, which is the too-early separation of the placenta from the uterus. In the worst of cases, stillbirth and eclampsia are possible. Untreated very high blood pressure can also lead to stroke.
High Blood Pressure And Gestation
High blood pressure may increase your risk of complications during pregnancy.
You can have hypertension in pregnancy either as a continuation of a chronic problem that you had before you were pregnant or as a new problem that develops during your pregnancy, which is called gestational hypertension or preeclampsia.
Hypertensive disorders occur in 6% to 8% of pregnancies around the world, and about a quarter of hospital admissions for mothers during their pregnancy.
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What Are Treatment Options For High Blood Pressure
Treating high blood pressure may include a combined approach of dietary changes, medication and exercise. The goal is to lower your blood pressure and thus lower your risk of developing health problems caused by high blood pressure.;
If your blood pressure is between 120/80 mm Hg and 130/80 mm Hg, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes like losing weight or quitting smoking to help bring blood pressure down to a normal range. Medication is rarely used at this stage.
Stage I hypertension
If your blood pressure is above 130/80 mmHg but below 140/90 mmHg, your doctor may prescribe a blood pressure medication in addition to recommending lifestyle changes.
Stage II hypertension
If your blood pressure is above 140/90 mmHg, your doctor may start you on more rigorous medications and recommend stricter lifestyle changes. Medications may include:
Possible side effects
Potential Complication: Gestational Hypertension
When you’re pregnant, it’s common to have high blood pressure. Up to 8% of pregnant women in the U.S. have high blood pressure, usually during their first pregnancies. If you first develop it when you’re expecting, it’s called gestational hypertension or pregnancy-induced hypertension .
Most women with gestational hypertension have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. But, high blood pressure during pregnancy can be a sign of other conditions that can be much more harmful. That’s one reason why seeing your doctor early and often is so important in keeping you and your baby healthy.
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