Do You Know Enough about Hypertension?
Do you know that you can have high blood pressure (hypertension) for years without any symptoms, which can affect your pregnancy? This blog post will help you understand the hows and whys of hypertension and pregnancy.
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Knowing All about Blood Pressure
A person’s blood pressure is considered normal if it is between 140 mm Hg systolic (the top number) or 90 mm Hg diastolic (the bottom number). However, in the stressful times that we are living in, many people are suffering from high blood pressure or hypertension.
High blood pressure generally leads to stroke, kidney disease, heart failure, and coronary heart disease.
Hypertension is one of the most common medical conditions encountered in women during pregnancy. In some cases, women suffer from hypertension before pregnancy, while in other cases it develops during pregnancy. High blood pressure has been classified into four categories:
Chronic hypertension or gestational hypertension can sometimes result in preeclampsia. It is a pregnancy complication that usually occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy and in which there are signs of damage to other organs. If it is not treated on time, preeclampsia can lead to severe, even fatal, complications for the mother and her baby.
- Gestational Hypertension
In gestational hypertension, the condition develops in a pregnant woman after 20 weeks of pregnancy. There have been cases, where some women with gestational hypertension have developed preeclampsia.
- Chronic Hypertension
The condition of chronic hypertension is either occurs before 20 weeks of pregnancy or is present in women before pregnancy. However, there are usually no symptoms associated with high BP; it is quite difficult to know when chronic hypertension begins.
- Chronic Hypertension with Superimposed Preeclampsia
Women with chronic high blood pressure before pregnancy develop this condition. The problem then worsens with high BP along with protein in the urine during pregnancy.
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Why Hypertension Is a Concern During Pregnancy?
Hypertension during pregnancy can lead to a serious condition such as:
- Premature Delivery
Even though premature delivery raises health concerns like breathing problem for the baby, it is sometimes unavoidable as it is vital for prevention against potentially life-threatening complications.
- Decreased Blood Flow to the Placenta
If the blood flow to the placenta is not normal, the baby in the womb will not receive the necessary oxygen and nutrients that may result in slow growth, low birth weight or premature delivery.
- Placental Abruption
The pregnancy complication preeclampsia heightens the risk of placental abruption. In this condition, the placenta gets separated from the inner wall of the uterus before delivery. It may lead to heavy bleeding as well as damage to the placenta that can be life-threatening for the baby and her mother.
- Future Cardiovascular Disease
Preeclampsia elevates the chances of cardiovascular disease (heart and blood vessel-related illness). The risk factor increases if you have a history of preeclampsia or preterm birth.Minimizing this risk is possible. All you need to do is to be on a healthy diet after delivery. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables; indulge in a regular workout session, and do not smoke or drink. Thus, you will be able to maintain your ideal weight and keep cardiovascular disease at bay.