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What You Need To Know About Gestational Hypertension

Gestational Hypertension

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) During Pregnancy

Gestational hypertension is blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90 that begins during the latter half of pregnancy (typically after 20 weeks). During pregnancy, high blood pressure can affect your body in different ways than it normally would. If high blood pressure goes unmanaged, both you and the fetus are at risk for complications.

What is hypertension during pregnancy?

Pregnancy-related hypertension is high blood pressure that begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy and ends shortly after your baby is born. It happens in about 6% to 8% of pregnancies. Your provider may also refer to high blood pressure during pregnancy as gestational hypertension or pregnancy-induced hypertension. Gestational hypertension is different than other types of hypertension because it starts in the second half of pregnancy and goes away after childbirth. High blood pressure may not cause any noticeable symptoms, so it’s important that you attend all your prenatal appointments so your pregnancy care provider can take your blood pressure. High blood pressure during pregnancy can lead to complications. Your provider will monitor you and the fetus more closely and help you manage your blood pressure for the remainder of your pregnancy.

What is high blood pressure (hypertension)?

Blood pressure is the measurement of the pressure or force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. When you have hypertension (high blood pressure), it means the pressure against the blood vessel walls is above the normal range.

How is high blood pressure during pregnancy different from high blood pressure at other times?

High blood pressure during pregnancy impacts your body differently than it would if you weren’t pregnant. Your heart works harder during pregnancy because it has to pump much more blood. This puts extra stress on your body. High blood pressure can also affect how the placenta develops and functions. This means the fetus may not get the nutrients it needs to grow at a normal rate. Both you and your child are at higher risk of complications before labor, during labor and after delivery if you have high blood pressure.

What are the different forms of high blood pressure you can have during pregnancy?

There are several different types of high blood pressure during pregnancy. They vary depending on when it begins and the symptoms it causes.

The most common types of high blood pressure during pregnancy are:

  • Chronic hypertension: High blood pressure before pregnancy or early in pregnancy (before 20 weeks). This type of hypertension continues after your baby is born. People with chronic hypertension can also develop preeclampsia. This is known as chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia.
  • Gestational hypertension: High blood pressure in the latter part of pregnancy. Some people with gestational hypertension will go on to develop preeclampsia. Your provider will need to see you more frequently if you develop gestational hypertension.
  • Preeclampsia: A condition only found in the second half of pregnancy (typically after 27 weeks of pregnancy). Your provider diagnoses this condition if you have elevated blood pressure readings and protein in your pee. It can affect your liver, kidneys, lungs or brain as well as the placenta. When it affects your brain, you’re at risk for seizures (eclampsia).

Who is at higher risk of developing high blood pressure (hypertension) during pregnancy?

  • Are under age 20 or over age 40.
  • Have had gestational hypertension or preeclampsia during past pregnancies.
  • Have a family history of gestational hypertension.
  • Have diabetes or gestational diabetes.
  • Have an immune system disorder, such as lupus.
  • Have kidney disease.
  • Are expecting multiple babies (twins, triplets or more).
  • Are Black.
Prawidlowe csisnienie
27 Healthy Habits
to Normalize Blood Pressure
Download now