Gestational Hypertension

Gestational Hypertension

Overview

When women develop high blood pressure during pregnancy – more than 140/90 mm Hg – they are said to have a condition called gestational hypertension. It is usually diagnosed at around 20 weeks of pregnancy; if the mother is having twins, it can even set in earlier.

Signs and Symptoms
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Vision is blurred or other vision changes are experienced
  • More than normal increase in weight
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Passing very little urine
Causes and Risk Factors

Although there are no known causes, the following might increase the risk of gestational hypertension:

  • Having had gestational hypertension with the previous delivery
  • Being diabetic
  • Kidney problem
  • When the mother is less than 20 years or more than 40 years
  • Having twins or more
Complications
  • Premature or low birth weight babies
  • Blood flow to the baby is reduced
  • Possible kidney damage
  • The mother has a possibility of becoming a hypertensive after the pregnancy
  • Possibility of preeclampsia and eclampsia
Diagnosis
  • Checking blood pressure
  • Urine analysis
  • Tests to check functioning of liver and kidney
  • Swollen feet
Treatment

Treatment depends on the symptoms. Options include:

  • Regular checking of blood pressure
  • Various scans to make sure the baby is alright
  • Sometimes, medication like corticosteroids is prescribed
Prevention

Preparing for the pregnancy by maintaining ideal weight will help in prevention. The mother should make sure she eats healthy food and works out actively. Not missing any appointments with the doctor will help in early detection.

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