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High blood pressure in pregnancy: risks and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The high pressure in pregnancy poses a risk to the health of the baby and the mother, increasing the likelihood of developing preeclampsia or placental abruption, or the baby being low weight the birth or presenting a premature birth. It is a severe condition that, like common arterial hypertension, does not usually present symptoms, so going to all prenatal checkups and undergoing the corresponding checkups is essential to detect this problem, control it and guarantee your well-being and health. of your baby. This FastlyHealarticle explains the symptoms, risks, and treatment of high blood pressure in pregnancy.

Types of high blood pressure in pregnancy

There are two types of hypertension during pregnancy; depending on which one suffers, the risks of having complications during pregnancy can increase.

  • Chronic hypertension is high blood pressure that is suffered before becoming pregnant or manifests itself in the first 20 weeks of gestation. It does not decrease after delivery for women who have already had high blood pressure before pregnancy. This condition deserves the utmost care because about 25% of women who suffer may develop preeclampsia. Therefore this type of woman will take medication to control tension during pregnancy; in each prenatal consultation, the pressure will be checked, and tests will be carried out in urine, plus ultrasounds and cardiac monitoring of the baby to ensure their well-being and detect the possible presence of preeclampsia.
  • Gestational hypertension is the high blood pressure that develops due to pregnancy, occurs after the 20th week of gestation, and disappears shortly after birth. It also requires regular care and monitoring to prevent it from becoming dangerous, increasing the risk of preeclampsia. The doctor will indicate the necessary controls depending on the case of each woman.

Groups at higher risk of suffering from high blood pressure in pregnancy

The prenatal visits are essential to determine our health and the baby in these routine consultations whenever blood pressure is measured. Once the doctor detects that it is high, he will carry out the appropriate studies to determine if we suffer from hypertension and what is the best way to control it and ensure the well-being of the baby and ours.

You are at higher risk for high blood pressure in pregnancy if you:

  • You suffer from obesity.
  • It is your first pregnancy.
  • Are you over 30 years old?
  • You are hypertensive.
  • You have an immediate family member who suffered from hypertension during pregnancy.
  • You have diabetes or kidney failure.
  • You have multiple pregnancies.
  • You are black.

How can high blood pressure affect my baby or me?

In pregnancy, high blood pressure may risk you or your baby if it is not adequately controlled. The higher your blood pressure and the earlier it occurs in pregnancy, the more risk you will have of developing complications.

The primary complications of high blood pressure in pregnancy are:


This condition occurs in women who have very high blood pressure and manifest the presence of protein in the urine. It is more common in patients who develop hypertension before 20 weeks of pregnancy, and its symptoms include high blood pressure, severe headaches, general swelling, and vision changes. Preeclampsia can cause organs such as the kidneys or the liver not to work correctly, which can cause permanent damage to them or the baby’s death in more severe cases. Additionally, it can cause the complications mentioned below.

Premature birth

Mothers with high blood pressure in pregnancy or preeclampsia can have a premature delivery before 37 weeks of gestation. In some cases, delivery is caused in advance to avoid possible complications of this condition on the fetus.

Low birth weight

High blood pressure during pregnancy can cause the blood vessels in the uterus to constrict, affecting the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus. This can cause the baby to be born with a low birth weight.

Placental abruption

This condition will prevent the baby from receiving the oxygen and nutrients necessary for its proper growth, so it is a severe condition that is important to detect early. When this condition occurs near the end of pregnancy, a cesarean section is usually arranged to ensure the well-being of the mother and the baby.

How to control hypertension in pregnancy?

Once the high blood pressure is detected during pregnancy, the doctor will carry out all the necessary tests to determine if the baby is well, if there is a risk of preeclampsia and the best way to control this condition.

Some of the tests that are usually performed are:

  • Ultrasound to determine the baby’s growth and the amount of amniotic fluid.
  • Doppler ultrasound to evaluate the flow of blood to your baby.
  • Urine test to determine the presence of protein.
  • Blood test.

Your blood pressure will be measured at each prenatal checkup, and your doctor will likely ask you to measure it at home. If your anxiety is dangerously high, the specialist may indicate a safe drug treatment to help control its levels. Additionally, it is recommended that:

  • Follow a diet low in salt, substituting this seasoning for spices to flavor your meals.
  • Eliminate all foods rich in salts such as cold cuts, commercial dressings and condiments, salty snacks, canned pickles, soups, and ready meals from your diet.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and fish.
  • Get moderate exercise every day, walking for at least 30 minutes to maintain physical activity and improve health. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, physical activity is very beneficial.
  • Go to all your prenatal visits for the checkup exams that guarantee your well-being and that of your baby.

In more severe cases, your doctor may consider hospitalization to monitor your health and the baby. After week 34, and if the specialist thinks it appropriate, a cesarean section can be performed to ensure the well-being of both.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to High blood pressure in pregnancy: risks and treatment , we recommend that you enter our category of Blood, heart, and circulation.

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