How to keep Blood Pressure in control during Pregnancy?
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can cause several complications in those who let it go untreated. This danger is greatly increased in pregnant women because untreated hypertension during pregnancy can lead to fatal consequences for both mother and baby. It is important to monitor your blood pressure regularly throughout your pregnancy and to get treatment right away if you are diagnosed.
Types of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
- Gestational hypertension: This is hypertension that appears after 20 weeks of pregnancy and often presents with no excess protein in the urine or other signs of organ damage.
- Preeclampsia: Gestational hypertension that develops after 20 weeks of pregnancy but has signs of organ damage. Preeclampsia can be extremely dangerous to both mother and baby. It can cause kidney and liver damage as well as problems with the blood and brain.
- Chronic hypertension: This is high blood pressure that was present prior to pregnancy, however, because hypertension often has no symptoms it may not be diagnosed before pregnancy.
Hypertension During Pregnancy Risks
High blood pressure during pregnancy can lead to several risks to the mother and baby. Because it doesn’t always present with symptoms, it’s important to monitor your blood pressure so that you can catch hypertension as soon as possible.
Untreated hypertension during pregnancy can cause:
- Placental abruption: The placenta separates from the inner wall of your uterus causing heavy bleeding that can be life-threatening.
- Decreased blood flow to the placenta: This prevents enough oxygen and nutrients from reaching the baby which can lead to premature birth and low birth weight.
- Organ damage: The brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, and other major organs are at risk of severe damage from untreated hypertension. You’re also more likely to develop cardiovascular disease later in life.
- Premature birth: Premature birth means your baby is born before it can fully develop, but if you have high blood pressure your baby may be born early. Other babies may have to be delivered early as a result of the mother’s high blood pressure.
Hypertension and Preeclampsia Symptoms
Hypertension is often only diagnosed after an abnormal blood pressure reading during routine GP appointments. This is why continual monitoring is recommended for pregnant women since elevated blood pressure poses so many risks to mothers and babies.
Preeclampsia Signs and Symptoms:
- Excess protein in your urine
- Less urine production
- Decreased levels of platelets in your blood
- Loss of vision and other visual disturbances
- Shortness of breath from fluid in your lungs
- Abdominal pain on the right side under your ribs
- Liver damage
- Sudden swelling in the face and hands
High Blood Pressure Medications
Pregnant women have to be careful when it comes to taking medications so that no harm comes to the baby. If you are worried about taking high blood pressure medication during your pregnancy, it’s important to remember that untreated hypertension is very dangerous for both mother and pregnancy. Speak with your health care provider to discuss medication options so that you and your baby can stay healthy.
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