Having high blood pressure during pregnancy can put both you and your future child at great health risk, warns both the Mayo Clinic and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Fortunately, few expectant moms actually experience hypertension. Regular prenatal care is always important during pregnancy, but it is especially critical for moms who are experiencing high blood pressure.
Typical Blood Pressure
An expectant mom’s blood pressure should not exceed 140 mm Hg systolic and 90 mm Hg diastolic, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Systolic is the top number on a blood pressure reading, while diastolic figures are noted on the bottom.
Low birth weight, premature delivery and kidney damage can all result from a mother suffering from hypertension during her term, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. In rare cases, preeclampsia can result, leading to stillbirth or maternal death.
About 6 to 8 percent of expectant moms suffer from high blood pressure during pregnancy, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Most of these moms don’t develop preeclampsia or other serious conditions related to high blood pressure; first-time pregnancies also are more susceptible to creating high blood pressure in women who didn’t suffer from hypertension previously. Women under 20 or over 40 or ladies who were obese before pregnancy are far more likely to suffer from preeclampsia as a result of high blood pressure.
Identification of Potential Complications
Signs besides high blood pressure readings usually accompany preeclampsia and require prompt medical help, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Persistent headaches, blurred vision, sensitivity to light and abdominal pain can all indicate preeclampsia. A significant amount of protein in the urine, which is usually detected by a medical professional, is also a common indicator of preeclampsia.
Even if you have high blood pressure before conception, you can still minimize the risks of developing serious problems related to hypertension during your term, notes the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Avoiding alcohol and tobacco during pregnancy is key toward reducing the risk of high blood pressure and possible preeclampsia. Regular exercise and limiting your salt intake is also essential toward preventing problems with your blood pressure, notes the Mayo Clinic. Also, some blood pressure medications can be safely taken during pregnancy to reduce the risks of untreated hypertension to both you and your growing child; check with your doctor to find out if this option might help reduce your blood pressure.
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