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What Is Considered High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy

What Are The Different Forms Of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

High blood pressure during pregnancy

High blood pressure complicates about 10 percent of all pregnancies. There are several different types of high blood pressure during pregnancy. These types vary in severity and impact on the body. The forms of high blood pressure during pregnancy include:

  • Chronic hypertension: High blood pressure which is present prior to pregnancy.
  • Chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia: Preeclampsia, which develops in someone who has chronic hypertension .
  • Gestational hypertension: High blood pressure is noted in the latter part of pregnancy, but no other signs or symptoms of preeclampsia are present. Some women will later develop preeclampsia, while others probably have high blood pressure before the pregnancy.
  • Preeclampsia: A condition only found in the latter half of pregnancy and results in hypertension, protein in the urine, and generalized swelling in the mother. It can impact other organs in the body and also cause seizures .

How Is High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy Different From High Blood Pressure At Other Times

High blood pressure during pregnancy can impact the body in different ways than it normally would. Mothers with high blood pressure during pregnancy are at a higher risk of complications before, during and after the birth. Not only is the mothers health in danger, but the baby can be impacted by high blood pressure during pregnancy.

High blood pressure during pregnancy can affect the development of the placenta, causing the nutrient and oxygen supply to the baby to be limited. This can lead to an early delivery, low birth weight, placental separation and other complications for the baby.

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Most People With Hypertension Feel Okay

Hypertension usually does not produce any symptoms, because the organs of the body can resist high blood pressure for a long time. Thats why its important to have regular medical examinations to make sure your blood pressure isnt creeping up as you grow older.High blood pressure over a period of time can contribute to many illnesses, including:

  • heart attack

The effects of high blood pressure on the arteries are worsened by:

  • cigarette smoking
  • high levels of saturated fat in the diet
  • high blood cholesterol
  • diabetes.

Responses to some types of stress may affect both blood pressure and changes in the arteries, but this remains scientifically uncertain.

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Can High Blood Pressure Be Prevented Or Avoided

If your high blood pressure is caused by lifestyle factors, you can take steps to reduce your risk:

  • Lose weight.
  • Reduce your alcohol consumption.
  • Learn relaxation methods.

If your high blood pressure is caused by disease or the medicine you take, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to prescribe a different medicine. Additionally, treating any underlying disease can help reduce your high blood pressure.

What Is Hellp Syndrome


HELLP syndrome is a pregnancy complication. It is a type of preeclampsia. It usually occurs during the third trimester of pregnancy. But it also can develop in the first week after childbirth .

The name HELLP syndrome stands for:

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Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy

Its tough to miss many of the symptoms of pregnancy. But signs of hypertension during pregnancy arent always so obvious.

Symptoms of high blood pressure in pregnancy range from mild to severe and include:

  • Elevated blood pressure reading. Your doctor checks your blood pressure at every prenatal appointment for a reason since you often wont feel any different, getting a blood pressure reading is the only true way to know if youre developing hypertension. A provider will often look for multiple high readings a few hours apart to confirm a high blood pressure diagnosis.

  • Preeclampsia symptoms. These can include:

  • Protein in your urine
  • Severe headaches
  • Changes in vision
  • Shortness of breath
  • Upper abdominal pain, often under your ribs on the right side.

Dont wait if youre experiencing any of these symptoms and feel like something might not be rightits always worth a call or a visit to your healthcare provider to check in.

Tracking Your Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

In addition to keeping all of your prenatal care appointments so your doctor can track your blood pressure readings, you might want to turn to home blood pressure technology, which has become quite good and should be considered fairly reliable.

In fact, for women with high blood pressure concerns, a home monitor is a nice way of taking ownership of ones care and being an active participant. Ask your physician which device shed recommend and then get a quick lesson on how to use it at home.

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What Causes High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

Its not clear whats behind every case of high blood pressure during pregnancy, but there are some risk factors, including a history of long-term high blood pressure or chronic kidney disease. You might also be more at risk if youre Black, youre carrying multiple babies, you have type 1 or 2 diabetes, youre younger than 20 years of age or older than 40, or youre obese.

Another cause of an above-normal blood pressure reading may be a case of “white-coat hypertension” a pretty common phenomenon , where blood pressure temporarily spikes because you get nervous or worried in medical settings.

Still, if your doctor notices your blood pressure is above 140/90 on two separate visits, whether youre just anxious when that cuff is placed on your arm or you have one of the above-mentioned risk factors, he’ll likely diagnose you with gestational hypertension.

Can High Blood Pressure Affect Pregnancy

High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

High blood pressure complicates about 10% of all pregnancies. There are several different types of high blood pressure during pregnancy and they range from mild to serious. The forms of high blood pressure during pregnancy include:

Chronic hypertension: High blood pressure which is present before pregnancy.

Gestational hypertension: High blood pressure in the latter part of pregnancy.

Preeclampsia: This is a dangerous condition that typically develops in the latter half of pregnancy and results in hypertension, protein in the urine and generalized swelling in the pregnant person. It can affect other organs in the body and cause seizures .

Chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia: Pregnant people who have chronic hypertension are at increased risk for developing preeclampsia.

Your provider will check your blood pressure regularly during prenatal appointments, but if you have concerns about your blood pressure, be sure to talk with your provider.

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Risks Of High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy

For mom

High blood pressure during pregnancy puts you at risk of:

  • Stroke

  • Heart attacks

  • Breathing problems

  • Fluid in other parts of your body It can also put you at risk of a serious complication called placental abruption and complications when giving birth.

For baby

High blood pressure can also affect your unborn babys growth and health. When the moms blood pressure runs high, this affects how much oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the growing baby. Unborn babies affected by high maternal blood pressure are more likely to be born preterm and underweight.

For the birth

Pregnancy-induced hypertension raises your risk of having an early delivery or a C-section.

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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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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Developing High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

How high blood pressure can affect your pregnancy

If your blood pressure rises to 140/90mmHg or more after 20 weeks of pregnancy, this could be due to one of two conditions, gestational hypertension or .

Raised blood pressure on its own, with normal tests for kidney and liver function, is considered gestational hypertension. Its usually mild and doesnt cause problems. You will need to go to the clinic for regular check-ups in case of any changes, and you might be asked to record your blood pressure at home with 24 hour ambulatory home monitoring.

If high blood pressure develops later on, after 32 weeks, this puts you at a higher risk of complications, including , which can be serious and needs treating.

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Whats Considered High Blood Pressure In Adults

Healthy blood pressure in adults is a reading of 120/80 mm Hg or below. But, what does it mean if your blood pressure numbers are higher than this?

A blood pressure of 120 to 129 mm Hg systolic and under 80 mm Hg diastolic is considered elevated. Elevated blood pressure means you have a greater risk of developing high blood pressure later on.

Your doctor may suggest eating less salt, eating a heart healthy diet, or living a more active lifestyle.

If your blood pressure reading falls into any of the following ranges, its important to talk with your doctor about medication or other lifestyle changes that may help keep your hypertension under control.

Treatments For Gestational Hypertension

You should be advised to take an aspirin a day when you are first diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Whether you need treatment for high blood pressure, and which treatments you are given, will depend on whether you have any of the other risk factors and your blood pressure readings during pregnancy:

  • 140/90mmHg 149/99mmHg you will need regular blood pressure checks, urine tests and blood tests, but this doesnt normally need treating.
  • 150/100mmHg 159/109mmHg you might need medications for your blood pressure, as well as regular blood pressure checks and urine and blood tests.
  • 160/110mmHg or higher You may need medications to lower your blood pressure, frequent blood pressure checks and urine and blood tests, and you might need to stay in hospital for a short while until your blood pressure is under control

If you do need medications for high blood pressure, your doctor will consider which ones are safe to use and the possible side effects.

After your pregnancy

Your blood pressure should return to normal after your pregnancy. You should also be offered an appointment with a doctor soon afterwards in case you need to keep taking any blood pressure medications, and because blood pressure can also sometimes rise after pregnancy.

What is pre-eclampsia?

What causes pre-eclampsia isnt fully understood, but is thought to be due to a problem with the development of the placenta.

You will be more at risk of developing pre-eclampsia if:

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Are There Any Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy

Symptoms can vary from person to person and at each pregnancy, but the main symptom of high blood pressure when youre expecting is a high reading in the second half of gestation, usually around week 20. Yet one of the tricky things about high blood pressure when youre pregnant is that some women feel completely normal and dont show any symptoms at all.

If High Blood Pressure Becomes Severe Or If Pre

High blood pressure, pre-eclampsia and pregnancy risks

There are risks to both you, as the mother, and to your baby if high blood pressure becomes more severe, especially if you develop pre-eclampsia. You will usually be seen urgently by a specialist and you may be admitted to hospital. Blood tests may be suggested to check to see how much your blood pressure or pre-eclampsia is affecting you. The well-being of your baby may also be checked using ultrasound scanning. A recording of your baby’s heart rate may be carried out.

For severe high blood pressure, especially if pre-eclampsia develops, there is often a dilemma. If the high blood pressure is caused by the pregnancy, the only cure is to deliver your baby. This may be fine if your pregnancy is near to the end. The birth can be induced, or your baby can be born by caesarean section if necessary. However, a difficult decision may have to be made if high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia becomes severe earlier in your pregnancy.

Medicine to lower the blood pressure may be prescribed for a while. The most commonly used medicine is labetalol. This may allow your pregnancy to progress further before delivering your baby. The best time to induce the birth varies depending on the factors mentioned above.

If you have severe pre-eclampsia, the medicine magnesium sulfate may be given via a drip around the time that your baby is delivered. This may reduce your chance of developing eclampsia and prevent you having fits .

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What Are The Different Types Of High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy

There are 3 types of high blood pressure in pregnancy.

  • Pre-existing hypertension or chronic hypertension this is when you already have high blood pressure before pregnancy or in the first 20 weeks. High blood pressure before 20 weeks of pregnancy is not caused by pregnancy because the placenta is not fully developed. Read more about pre-existing hypertension or chronic hypertension.
  • Pregnancy-induced hypertension or gestational hypertension this is high blood pressure that you develop after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Some women just develop high blood pressure and no other problems, but some develop a condition called pre-eclampsia, where other organs in your body are affected.
  • Pre-eclampsia this is a serious condition that only happens in pregnant women and develops after 20 weeks. The main feature is high blood pressure, but for a diagnosis of pre-eclampsia there must also be evidence that other organs are affected, such as protein in your urine. Your kidneys, liver, brain, placenta and blood clotting system are the organs most commonly involved. Women with pre-existing hypertension can also develop pre-eclampsia. Once you develop pre-eclampsia, you need to be watched closely, as pre-eclampsia doesnt go away until your baby is born and it can lead to eclampsia . Read more about pre-eclampsia.
  • What Causes High Blood Pressure

    During pregnancy, existing high blood pressure can get worse and new blood pressure issues can develop. Total blood volume doubles during pregnancy, putting additional strain on the blood vessels.

    Usually, the patient’s blood pressure levels off after delivery. But this can take time. Additionally, some women dont develop blood pressure issues until after delivery. When a patient’s blood pressure exceeds 140/90 for the first time in the postpartum period, the patient may have postpartum preeclampsia.

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    Antihypertensive Medications That Are Not Safe During Pregnancy

    Some medicines used to treat high blood pressure should not be taken during pregnancy as they may harm a developing baby.

    Examples of blood pressure medicines that should not be taken during pregnancy are:

  • Examples include bendroflumethiazide, chlortalidone, indapamide, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, amiloride.
  • Eclampsia And Hellp Syndrome

    The Dangers of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

    Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure and preeclampsia can lead to serious and life-threatening conditions like eclampsia and HELLP syndrome.

    • Eclampsia: This is when blood pressure in pregnancy rises so high that it causes seizures or coma in the mother. Sixty percent of eclampsia comes on during pregnancy, 20% during delivery, and 20% after delivery.

    • HELLP syndrome: This acronym stands for hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count. In this condition, your body destroys its own red blood cells, liver cells are damaged, and you may bleed too easily. Seventy percent of cases happen during pregnancy and 30% after delivery.

    The terms preeclampsia and eclampsia sound like you need to have preeclampsia before getting eclampsia. But thats not always true. Some women with eclampsia dont have any symptoms of high blood pressure or preeclampsia before they start experiencing seizures. The same thing goes for HELLP syndrome. It can appear without warning.

    Luckily, these conditions are rare. Eclampsia happens in less than 0.1% of pregnancies in the United States, while HELLP happens in 0.1-0.2 % of all pregnancies. Rates are higher for black and some latino women, as well as women who have pregnancy-induced high blood pressure and preeclampsia.

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    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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    High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

    Some women have high blood pressure during pregnancy. This can put the mother and her baby at risk for problems during the pregnancy. High blood pressure can also cause problems during and after delivery.1,2 The good news is that high blood pressure is preventable and treatable.

    High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is very common. In the United States, high blood pressure happens in 1 in every 12 to 17 pregnancies among women ages 20 to 44.3

    High blood pressure in pregnancy has become more common. However, with good blood pressure control, you and your baby are more likely to stay healthy.

    The most important thing to do is talk with your health care team about any blood pressure problems so you can get the right treatment and control your blood pressurebefore you get pregnant. Getting treatment for high blood pressure is important before, during, and after pregnancy.

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