Hypertension during pregnancy can be a problem for both baby and the mother. Thus it is of utmost importance that during pregnancy a good health should be maintained along with controlled blood pressure and cholesterol levels. With an increase in multiple births and women of older age the risk of hypertension during pregnancy has increased. But if proper care is taken it can be avoided.
Types of Pregnancy Hypertension:
There are three prominent forms of hypertension that can be seen during pregnancy. The pregnant ladies should be aware of the same. These are:
- Preeclampsia - This is the most common and serious hypertension during pregnancy. This hypertension can only be controlled by delivering the fetus which usually involves complications like death of the mother or child. This occurs 20 weeks after pregnancy.
- Gestational Hypertension - This form is only prevalent during pregnancy and is not a problem for the mother or baby after delivery. This usually occurs in the last leg of the pregnancy
- Chronic Hypertension - This form forms either prior to the pregnancy or before 20 weeks of the pregnancy.
Management of Pregnancy Hypertension:
Hypertension during pregnancy can be handled by the following:
- In case of severe hypertension, blood pressure medication should be continued during pregnancy
- If you are on ACE inhibitor-type medication, then the medication is changed to one that is even safe for the baby
- Your doctor might like to monitor you daily and can advise hospitalization for a few days
- If medication is missed, it might lead to uncontrolled life-threatening hypertension. Thus the medication should not be missed at any time
- In case of mild hypertension and absence of other diseases like diabetes and kidney disorders, the doctor might stop the medication or reduce the dose. Also, being off medicine does not cause any problem in mild hypertension.
- Irrespective of the hypertension being mild or severe, the prenatal appointments should not be missed, so that the doctor can monitor you and the baby. If any problems, like rise in blood pressure, poor fetal growth, and signs of preeclampsia can be spotted and steps can be taken for the same.
- In case there is some form of hypertension present the prenatal visits and lab tests will be more
- Apart from the usual second trimester ultrasound, there will be periodic ultrasounds in the third trimester to monitor the baby's growth and the amniotic fluid.
- Also regular fetal tests and Doppler ultrasounds will be done to track the baby's growth.
- Lifestyle changes should be made. Salt intake should be limited, fresh food instead of processed food should be consumed.
- If blood pressure is high then doctor might ask you to avoid exercise especially if you never did before pregnancy.
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