Common Specialities
{{speciality.keyWord}}
Common Issues
{{issue.keyWord}}
Common Treatments
{{treatment.keyWord}}

High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy - 10 Causes Behind It!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Ekta Singh 90% (42 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Noida  •  24 years experience
High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy - 10 Causes Behind It!

Blood pressure is the amount of force exerted by the blood against the walls of the arteries. A person's blood pressure is considered high when the readings are greater than 140 mm Hg systolic (the top number in the blood pressure reading) or 90 mm Hg diastolic (the bottom number). In general, high blood pressure, or hypertension, contributes to the development of coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure and kidney disease.

Causes of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

  1. Being overweight or obese
  2. Failing to stay active
  3. Smoking
  4. Drinking alcohol
  5. First-time pregnancy
  6. Teenage pregnancies
  7. A family history of pregnancy-related hypertension
  8. Carrying more than one child
  9. Age (over 40)
  10. Assistive technology (such as IVF)

What are the effects of high blood pressure in pregnancy?
Although many pregnant women with high blood pressure have healthy babies without serious problems, high blood pressure can be dangerous for both the mother and the fetus. Women with pre-existing, or chronic, high blood pressure are more likely to have certain complications during pregnancy than those with normal blood pressure. However, some women develop high blood pressure while they are pregnant (often called gestational hypertension).

The effects of high blood pressure range from mild to severe. High blood pressure can harm the mother's kidneys and other organs, and it can cause low birth weight and early delivery. In the most serious cases, the mother develops preeclampsia or "toxemia of pregnancy", which can threaten the lives of both the mother and the fetus.


How can women with high blood pressure prevent problems during pregnancy?
If you are thinking about having a baby and you have high blood pressure, talk first to your doctor or nurse. Taking steps to control your blood pressure before and during pregnancy - and getting regular prenatal care - go a long way toward ensuring your well-being and your baby's health.

Before becoming pregnant:

  • Be sure your blood pressure is under control. Lifestyle changes such as limiting your salt intake, participating in regular physical activity, and losing weight if you are overweight can be helpful.
  • Discuss with your doctor how hypertension might affect you and your baby during pregnancy, and what you can do to prevent or lessen problems.
  • If you take medicines for your blood pressure, ask your doctor whether you should change the amount you take or stop taking them during pregnancy. Do not, however, stop or change your medicines unless your doctor tells you to do so.

While you are pregnant:

  1. Obtain regular prenatal medical care.
  2. Avoid alcohol and tobacco.
  3. Talk to your doctor about any over-the-counter medications you are taking or are thinking about taking.

Note: Treatment before and during pregnancy should be a medication which is safe as few antihypertensives are teratogenic.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3610 people found this helpful