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Whats Considered High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy

What Are The Risks For People With High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) During Pregnancy With Dr. Sean Daneshmand | San Diego Health

For people with high blood pressure, some types of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be risky. They include ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and ketoprofen, the active ingredients in medicines like Advil and Aleve.

Other pain relievers may be less dangerous. Aspirin is also an NSAID, but experts think that it’s safer for people with hypertension. Acetaminophen — the active ingredient in Tylenol — is a different type of painkiller that doesn’t raise blood pressure as a side effect. However, like any drug, it does have side effects of its own. You shouldn’t take any over-the-counter painkiller for more than 10 days without your health care provider’s approval.

Why are people with high blood pressure at special risk? Some of these NSAIDs reduce the blood flow to the kidneys. The kidneys — which filter your blood — work more slowly, and so fluid builds up in your body. The increased fluid drives up your blood pressure.

“When I have patients with heart disease that suddenly gets much worse,” Goldberg tells WebMD, “the first thing I ask them is if they’ve used an over-the-counter pain medicine.”

These drugs have additional risks. If you take them often enough and at a high enough dose, they can seriously damage the kidneys.

So, what’s a person with high blood pressure and a headache to do? In general, people with high blood pressure should use acetaminophen or possibly aspirin for over-the-counter pain relief.

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.

If You Are Already Taking Medicine For High Blood Pressure

If you’re already taking medicine to lower your blood pressure and want to try for a baby, talk to your GP or specialist first. They may want to switch you to a different medicine before you get pregnant.

If you find out you’re already pregnant, tell your doctor immediately. They may need to change your medicine as soon as possible.

This is because some medicines that treat high blood pressure may not be safe to take when you’re pregnant. They can reduce the blood flow to the placenta and your baby, or affect your baby in other ways.

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How To Measure Your Blood Pressure

Usually, before a doctors appointment, a nurse checks your blood pressure to make sure its not too low or too high. But you can also check your blood pressure readings at home.

You can use an inflatable cuff, similar to those used at your doctors office. Or you can use a digital blood pressure monitor with automatic cuff inflation.

Read the directions carefully when measuring your blood pressure at home, and follow the instructions that come with the product.

Also, keep in mind that certain factors may cause a temporary rise in your blood pressure. These factors include:

For a more accurate blood pressure reading:

  • Take your blood pressure in a quiet location when youre calm and relaxed.
  • Dont exercise, smoke, or drink caffeine for at least 30 minutes before measuring your blood pressure.
  • Its best to vary the times of day that you take your pressure readings to see the range of your readings.

Tips For Tracking Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

Types of High 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.

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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.

Will I Still Have High Blood Pressure After My Baby Is Delivered

High blood pressure during pregnancy typically goes away after your babys delivered. However, it increases your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease in the future. If you had a severe form of preeclampsia or gestational hypertension, you may need medication for a few weeks after delivery. Its important to see your provider within 10 days postpartum if you had a severe form of high blood pressure at delivery.

People with 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.

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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
  • 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.

Types Of High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy

High blood pressure in pregnancy – All about gestational hypertension

Even if you have not had high blood pressure before pregnancy, you can develop high blood pressure during pregnancy, called gestational hypertension. A blood pressure during pregnancy of 140/90 is considered high during pregnancy and a diagnosis of gestational hypertension is given. Severe high blood pressure in pregnancy is 160/110.

Types of hypertension in pregnancy include:

  • Gestational Hypertension: High blood pressure that occurs during pregnancy, where high blood pressure was not chronic before the pregnancy began. This type of high blood pressure usually returns to normal soon after the baby is delivered.
  • Chronic Hypertension: If you have had high blood pressure before pregnancy, or before 20 weeks into your pregnancy, you most likely have chronic hypertension.
  • Chronic Hypertension with Superimposed Preeclampsia: High blood pressure that occurs during pregnancy can lead to preeclampsia however, if high blood pressure was present before pregnancy and preeclampsia happens during pregnancy, the diagnosis is chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia.
  • Preeclampsia: If high blood pressure occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy when no past chronic high blood pressure diagnosis has been given, and there is protein in urine and/or organs start to work improperly, preeclampsia is diagnosed.

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High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy

Blood pressure is the amount of pressure the blood places against the blood vessels walls with each heartbeat. A person can experience elevated or high blood pressure, or hypertension, during pregnancy. This is when the blood puts more pressure than normal against the artery walls.

According to the AHA , people living with untreated high blood pressure are at a greater risk of developing a heart attack, stroke, or other health issues, such as kidney disease.

During pregnancy, high blood pressure is also known as gestational hypertension. Gestational hypertension occurs if the womans blood pressure is within the normal range for the first 20 weeks of pregnancy and then increases to 140/90 mm Hg or higher during the second half of the pregnancy.

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.

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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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How Do You Treat Low Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

What Is Considered High Blood Pressure For A Pregnant Woman

Your doctor may not need to treat your low blood pressure unless it is really low or you have symptoms like fainting or falling, which can increase the risk of injury for you and your baby. Generally, treatment involves rest, taking care when sitting up or standing, drinking more water, and making changes to your diet.

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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:

  • 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.

What Causes High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

It’s not clear what’s 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 you’re Black, you’re carrying multiple babies, you have type 1 or 2 diabetes, you’re younger than 20 years of age or older than 40, or you’re 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 you’re just anxious when that cuff is placed on your arm or you have one of the above-mentioned risk factors, he or she will likely diagnose you with gestational hypertension.

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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:

  • H: Hemolysis, breaking down of red blood cells .

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High Blood Pressure Symptoms In Pregnancy

High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

In some cases the symptoms of high blood pressure during pregnancy may be subtle or go unnoticed. Because many changes take place when pregnant, it is important to know the symptoms of high blood pressure.

A blood pressure during pregnancy of 140/90 is considered high during pregnancy and a diagnosis of gestational hypertension is given. Severe high blood pressure in pregnancy is 160/110. A typical blood pressure is around 120/80.

Some signs of high blood pressure in pregnancy include:

  • Severe headaches
  • Excess protein in urine
  • Changes in vision
  • Upper abdominal pain

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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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What Are The Different Forms Of 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 .

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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.
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    What Is Considered High Blood Pressure When Pregnant With Twins

    What is high blood pressure?

    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.

    How do you know if you have high blood pressure?

    Your blood pressure reading is given as two numbers:

  • Systolic blood pressure. This is the upper number in your reading. Its the pressure when you heart contracts . Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats and pumps blood.
  • Diastolic blood pressure. This is the lower number in your reading. Its the pressure when your heart relaxes. Your blood pressure falls because your heart is at rest between beats.
  • Your blood pressure reading fits into one of five categories:

  • Normal. Your blood pressure is less than 120/80.
  • What pregnancy complications can high blood pressure cause?

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