Hypertension during pregnancy can lead to several complications. With the right treatment and care it is possible to keep your blood pressure under control. This will minimize risks to you and your baby.
What is hypertension during pregnancy?
High blood pressure is also known as hypertension. Having high blood pressure before you’re pregnant or being diagnosed with it during the gestational period raises concerns about the well-being of the mother and baby. A treatment plan must take into account the stage of your pregnancy and severity of your condition.
Chronic hypertension: About five percent of women are diagnosed with chronic hypertension. This term is used when you have high blood pressure before you get pregnant or up to 20 weeks of your pregnancy.
Gestational hypertension: This means you developed hypertension after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
What are the risks of hypertension during pregnancy?
- Preeclampsia (protein is found in your urine) which may be characterized by swelling in your legs, abdominal pain, severe headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting
- Less blood flow to the placenta which reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients your baby receives
- Complications like intrauterine growth restriction, preterm birth, placental abruption, and stillbirth
Talk to your doctor or perinatologist about how to manage hypertension during pregnancy.
Treatment for Hypertension during Pregnancy
Lowering your blood pressure reduces pregnancy risks. Ideally if you developed hypertension prior to getting pregnant you might have consulted your healthcare provider about your condition. In this case your doctor would have referred you to a perinatologist who specializes in high risk pregnancies like yours. If not you should speak with your doctor right away.
How do you treat hypertension during pregnancy?
- Blood pressure medication: Your doctor will make sure that the medication you’re taking is safe for your baby or suggest an alternative medication
- Hospitalization: This is usually done for a few days to stabilize your blood pressure; severe hypertension can be life threatening
- Reducing your dosage: In cases with mild chronic hypertension you may be asked to reduce the dosage or stay off it for a while as pregnancy tends to reduces blood pressure until the end of the second trimester. The concern is that if your pressure is too low it will reduce blood flow to the placenta.
Making regular visits to your doctor or perinatologist helps monitor and manage hypertension during pregnancy. During these prenatal check-ups your healthcare provider will take your blood pressure reading and suggest what needs to be done at every stage.
For more information about managing hypertension during pregnancy contact South Florida Perinatal Medicine. We have many locations to serve you.
Dr. Jorge L. Gomez earned his Medical Degree in 1990 at Central Del Caribe University in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Following residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital center in the Bronx, NY (1990–1994), he completed additional fellowship training at New York University Medical Center NY, specializing in Maternal Fetal Medicine (1994-1996). After his fellowship in 1996 he joined South Florida Perinatal Medicine. Dr. Gomez is Board certified in OBGYN and Maternal Fetal Medicine. From 2003–2007 He was a reviewer for the American Journal Of Obstetrics and Gynecology.