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High blood pressure during pregnancy can affect your birth options

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It is estimated that about 8 in 100 women (8 percent) have some kind of high blood pressure during pregnancy, which can cause problems for both the mother and her baby. It can cause preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, heart attack, kidney failure, premature birth, low birth weight, fetal death, etc. High blood pressure during pregnancy can also affect your birth options. If you have high blood pressure during pregnancy, chances are high that you may have a cesarean birth (also called c-section). It happens in 4 out of 10 women with chronic high blood. Also Read – Gestational diabetes may accelerate your child’s biological age: Tips to avoid this condition

Chronic high blood pressure may also lead to preterm birth, which means that their baby is born before 37 weeks. According to estimates, approximately two-thirds of women with severe high blood pressure (160/110 mmHg or higher) have a preterm birth. Also Read – Swedish massage can be therapeutic for hypertension: Here is how

High blood pressure can prevent the placenta from getting enough blood, which means your baby may not get enough oxygen and food. This can cause low birth weight and premature birth. Also Read – Don’t forget to ask your partner’s blood type before tying the knot

In the case of vaginal birth, it’s very likely that your labor will be induced if you have high blood pressure. But as long as your blood pressure is under control, you should be able to have a natural vaginal birth.

Causes of high blood pressure during pregnancy

Several factors may contribute to the development of high blood pressure during pregnancy. These include: having your first baby, family history, carrying multiple babies (twins, triplets), age (more common in women older than 40 years old), being overweight during pregnancy, or had high blood pressure before getting pregnant.

Unfortunately, high blood pressure during pregnancy can’t be prevented. But you can lower your chances of getting it by making necessary adjustments before you become pregnant such as maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly.

Types of high blood pressure during pregnancy

There are three main types of high blood pressure during pregnancy – chronic hypertension, gestational hypertension and preeclampsia.

Chronic hypertension

It is defined as blood pressure exceeding 140/90 mm Hg before pregnancy or before 20 weeks’ gestation. It may cause complications such as superimposed preeclampsia, fetal growth restriction, placental abruption, and preterm birth. Women with chronic hypertension have an increased likelihood of cesarean delivery. Chronic hypertension continues even after delivery.

Gestational hypertension

This is high blood pressure that you develop during pregnancy after you are 20 weeks pregnant. In many cases, it does not harm you or your baby, and may not even have other symptoms. Typically, it goes away within three months of giving birth.

However, sometimes it may turn severe and cause your baby to be born smaller than normal (low birth weight) or early. It can lead to preeclampsia.


Some pregnant women experience a sudden rise in their blood pressure after the 20th week of pregnancy, typically in their third trimester. This is called preeclampsia, which may cause damage to your liver, kidneys, or brain. This is a serious condition as it can hurt both you and your baby, and can be life-threatening too. Preeclampsia may also occur after delivery. This is called postpartum preeclampsia.


Published : September 16, 2020 10:44 pm | Updated:September 16, 2020 10:59 pm

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