High blood pressure, also called hypertension is blood pressure higher than 140/90 mm Hg. Pre-eclampsia and other problems can develop due to high blood pressure.
Types of blood pressure during pregnancy
Chronic hypertension: When women have high blood pressure (over 140/90) before pregnancy or early pregnancy or continues to have it post delivery is called chronic hypertension.
Gestational Hypertension: High blood pressure that develops after 20 weeks of pregnancy is gestational hypertension. It usually resolves post-delivery.
Chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia: Both chronic and gestational hypertension can lead to this condition after 20th week of pregnancy. Symptoms like high blood pressure and protein in the urine can have serious complications which may affect the mother and the baby as the pregnancy progresses.
The causes of high blood pressure are:
- Smoking and drinking
- Not Staying active
- Carrying twins
- Age factor
- A family history with high blood pressure
Symptoms of high blood pressure are headache, dizziness, and nausea, feeling faintish and cold skin.
Several risks of high blood pressure during pregnancy are:
Placental abruption: Having a high blood pressure separate the placenta from the inner wall of the uterus which happens before delivery. It can cause severe bleeding and effect the placenta which can be life threatening for you and your baby.
Pre- term delivery: Sometimes an early delivery is required to avoid any further complication in the pregnancy.
Future cardiovascular disease: Pre-eclampsia is likely to increase the risk of future heart and blood vessel disease. If you have had pre-eclampsia more than once then the risk becomes higher. However, to minimise the risk try maintaining your weight after delivery and eat a lot of fruits and vegetables
Low blood flow in placenta: If the placenta receives less blood then your baby will receive less oxygen. This will then lead to slow growth of your baby.
Obesity is one of the common reasons of high blood pressure. Regular exercising and having a proper diet can help in avoiding it. Consult your doctor too if your condition is severe.
Stay away from alcohol and smoking to lead a healthy pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones are likely to cause stress. Try to reduce it with yoga and meditation.
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