High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy: Signs and Risks

risks of high blood pressure during pregnancy

It’s very important to go to all of your prenatal appointments while you’re pregnant.

Among many things that your doctor checks during each appointment is high blood pressure. High blood pressure during pregnancy doesn’t usually cause symptoms or signal any issues, but it can be harmful to both mother and baby.

Without going to your check-ups you won’t be able to catch this potential health risk.

High blood pressure is defined as a blood pressure reading of 140/90 or higher. Six to eight percent of all pregnant women have high blood pressure according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Seventy percent of those with high blood pressure are first time mothers.

What are the Risks of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy?

High blood pressure during pregnancy can cause:

  • Low birth weight
  • Preterm birth
  • Damage to the mother’s kidneys and heart

High blood pressure during pregnancy can also lead to preeclampsia. Preeclampsia can threaten the life of the mother and the fetus if it’s not caught and treated. Just like hypertension during pregnancy, mothers with preeclampsia often don’t see any signs.

High blood pressure and protein in the urine are the primary signs of preeclampsia that your doctor will look for. Other signs include changes in vision, sudden weight gain, swelling and severe headaches.

Preeclampsia affects the placenta and the mother’s brain, liver and kidneys. It can cause seizures, which is known as eclampsia.

How to Prevent or Maintain a Normal Blood Pressure During Pregnancy?

To help keep your blood pressure normal during pregnancy, make sure to take any blood pressure medication prescribed by your doctor, eat a healthy diet, get 30 minutes of exercise every day and avoid drinking, smoking or using drugs.

For more information on high blood pressure during pregnancy, read: High Blood Pressure and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know.

If you have any concerns about your blood pressure during your pregnancy, make sure to contact the knowledgeable staff at All About Women today.

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