Blood pressure in pregnancy
Blood pressure is one of the important parameters that can help in assessing your general health. It is the ratio of systolic pressure to diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure is the pressure that falls on the artery walls during a heartbeat. Diastolic pressure is the pressure exerted on the artery walls during rest between heartbeats.
Blood pressure categories according to values are as follows:
|Systolic pressure (mm Hg)
|Diastolic pressure (mm Hg)
|Hypotension (low blood pressure)
|Normal blood pressure
|90 to 120
|60 to 80
|Hypertension (high blood pressure)
|140 or more
|90 or more
During pregnancy, when the blood pressure is higher than 140/90 mm Hg, the woman has high blood pressure and is a cause for concern.
High blood pressure during pregnancy affects the following ways:
- Decreased blood flow to the placenta: The baby may not get enough nutrition and oxygen, which can lead to premature delivery, as the baby grows slowly or incompletely.
- Injury to other organs: Blood pressure can damage other organs such as the mother’s liver, kidneys or brain.
- Premature delivery: Pregnancy with high blood pressure is known as high risk pregnancy and in many cases, premature delivery is the only option for the well-being of the mother and baby.
- Restricted uterine growth: Blood pressure slows fetal growth and leads to low birth weight.
- Placental abruption: Preeclampsia causes the placenta to separate from the uterus, creating a life-threatening condition for both mother and baby.
- High blood pressure can sometimes lead to seizures and untreated maternal and infant death.
High blood pressure complicates pregnancy by 10-15%.
There are three types of high blood pressure in a pregnant woman:
- Gestational hypertension: This type of hypertension usually develops after the 20th week of pregnancy. The mother usually recovers 12 weeks after delivery. However, if gestational blood pressure is not controlled, it can rise and lead to premature or low birth weight babies.
- Chronic hypertension: Hypertension that develops before the 20th week of pregnancy is called chronic hypertension. This type is usually found in women with or without a history of hypertension, but it does not go away.
- Preclampsia: It is a type of chronic hypertension that causes damage to organs such as the kidneys, liver, blood or brain. Treatment for preeclampsia is mandatory because it can be fatal to both mother and baby.
Symptoms of hypertension in pregnancy:
Symptoms of hypertension in pregnancy include:
- Puffiness on the face
- Edema of the legs and arms (swelling of the legs)
- Excess weight gain
- High blood pressure
- Frequent headaches and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Blurred vision
Diagnosis of hypertension in pregnancy:
Blood pressure can be detected before the start by regular antenatal check-ups.
Diagnosis is made by:
- Regular blood pressure measurement
- Frequent weight measurements
Treatment of hypertension in pregnancy:
Treating blood pressure during pregnancy is a delicate matter, Omni Geegels has the best gynecologists who have the skills to treat it. Our obstetrics and gynecology department is the best department in Vizag.
Frequent blood tests and serial ultrasound timing mode for delivery and assessment of fetal growth and place of delivery can help to treat and diagnose high blood pressure during pregnancy. Treatment methods are as follows:
- Medications: The health care provider may prescribe you a course of medication to control blood pressure. It is very important to be regular with medications. Immunotherapy with calcium and low doses of aspirin can help. Safe antihypertensive agents may be prescribed during pregnancy to control blood pressure and prevent complications for both mother and fetus.
- Lifestyle changes: Take into account blood pressure and ensure proper diet and regular exercise in daily life.