The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
Pregnancy-induced Hypertension (Postpartum Hypertension)
Postpartum preeclampsia may be treated with medication, including: Medication to lower high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is dangerously high, your health care provider might prescribe a medication to lower your blood pressure (antihypertensive medication). Medication to prevent seizures.
Go to the emergency room immediately if you experience any of these emergency symptoms, especially during pregnancy or after having a baby: Blood pressure of 160/110 or higher. Seeing spots or sparkles. Severe headache.
Postpartum preeclampsia is a rare condition that occurs when you have high blood pressure and excess protein in your urine soon after childbirth. Preeclampsia is a similar condition that develops during pregnancy and typically resolves with the birth of the baby.
Conditions Related to Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension
High blood pressure (hypertension)During pregnancy, the heart works harder to produce enough blood for the mother and baby. Problems with high blood pressure (also called hypertension) can occur before or during pregnancy, or up to six months after delivery. Left untreated, hypertension can lead to an increased risk of organ damage, vision loss, heart attack, heart disease, and stroke.
PreeclampsiaPreeclampsia happens in about one in 20 pregnancies. It is characterized by high blood pressure and high protein levels in the urine or organ damage, and can occur at any time during pregnancy or postpartum (see below). Women who have preeclampsia during pregnancy are at higher risk of developing postpartum hypertension.
Postpartum preeclampsiaIn rare cases, preeclampsia can continue after giving birth, or it can even start in women who did not suffer with hypertension during pregnancy. Postpartum preeclampsia should be carefully monitored and treated -- it can lead to serious health problems and even death.
Gestational hypertensionGestational hypertension is high blood pressure that begins in the second or third trimester. It usually goes away after the baby is delivered but can continue for weeks to months after giving birth.
What causes hypertension after pregnancy?Doctors are not certain what causes postpartum hypertension. However, certain risk factors may increase your likelihood of developing high blood pressure after giving birth. Breastfeeding is recommended for all women and does not lead to postpartum hypertension. Breastfeeding is safe if you’ve had a hypertensive disorder, and in fact may help reduce hypertension according to the CDC,. most medications used to treat high blood pressure during pregnancy or postpartum are safe for use during breastfeeding, but be certain to discuss this with your doctor or midwife.
Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy Risk Factors and ComplicationsWhile any new mother can develop high blood pressure during pregnancy, these factors can increase your risk:
- Having preeclampsia or another hypertension disorder during a prior pregnancy
- Giving birth to twins, triplets, or more babies
- Being a woman of color
- Being overweight or underweight
- Having your first baby over age 40
- Having a prior medical condition, such as diabetes or chronic high blood pressure
ComplicationsLike all high blood pressure disorders, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and related problems can lead to immediate and long-term medical problems. These include organ damage, vision loss, heart disease, seizures, stroke, and even death. But with early diagnosis, medical care, and lifestyle changes, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy can be effectively treated and managed.
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