High blood pressure during pregnancy is usually normal. However, high blood pressure during pregnancy needs close monitoring. In some cases, hypertension is present before pregnancy and sometimes it occurs during pregnancy. Following are the common types of hypertension that occur during pregnancy:
- Gestational hypertension: This type of high blood pressure occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
- Chronic hypertension: It is a type of hypertension, which was present before pregnancy. It may also develop before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
- Preeclampsia: It develops when hypertension occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It is linked with the symptoms of damage to another organ such as kidneys, liver, or brain. If left untreated it can result in life-threatening complications to mother and baby.
Causes of Hypertension During Pregnancy:
- Reduced blood flow towards the placenta : If there is an insufficiency of blood flow towards the placenta then the baby may receive less oxygen and nutrients. This results in slow growth, low birth weight or premature birth. Premature birth leads to a number of complications for the baby.
- Placental abruption : With the development of preeclampsia the risk of placental abruption raises. Placental abruption is a condition in which the placenta separates from the inner wall of uterus before delivery. This condition can result in even fatal conditions.
- Intrauterine growth restriction : High blood pressure may retard the growth of the baby.
- Premature delivery : In some cases, premature delivery is required to prevent life-threatening complications, if a woman has high blood pressure during pregnancy.
- Cardiovascular diseases : Preeclampsia may raise the risk of heart disease and blood vessel disorder for future.
Can Medicines Be Taken During Pregnancy for Hypertension?
Some medicines for hypertension are safe during pregnancy, but ACE inhibitors, angiotensin ii receptor blockers and renin inhibitors are usually avoided in pregnant women.
If a pregnant woman requires medicines for hypertension then the doctor will prescribe her the safest medicines and the most suitable dosage.
How Can the Risk of Complications Associated with Hypertension Be Reduced During Pregnancy?
Following measures may be helpful in reducing the risk associated with hypertension during pregnancy:
- Keeping prenatal appointments : Visit your doctor regularly during your pregnancy.
- Following the prescribed dosing regimen for blood pressure : Your doctor will prescribe you the safest medicines.
- Staying active : Ask your doctor about the safest physical activity for you.
- Eating healthy : Your nutritionist can help you to maintain your nutrition.
- Avoid smoking, alcohol : Consumption of alcohol and smoking can have a significantly negative effect on the health of both mother and baby.
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