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Hypertension During Pregnancy - How Can It Be Controlled?

Dr. Sheetal Sachdeva 87% (77 ratings)
DNB (Obstetrics & Gynecology), DGO, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Delhi  •  17 years experience
Hypertension During Pregnancy - How Can It Be Controlled?

A certain percentage of women are known to suffer from hypertension when they are pregnant. Such women have blood pressure levels above the acceptable range, that is, 140 / 90. Hypertension during pregnancy may result because of the changes that their body experiences during pregnancy or a history of high blood pressure prior to pregnancy. However, if a woman develops high blood pressure after becoming pregnant, then she is said to be suffering from gestational hypertension.

Some of the leading causes of hypertension during pregnancy are hormone-related imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, age-related factors, and obesity. The risk factors of the condition include genetic considerations, cigarette smoking, and previous pregnancies. During pregnancy, if you are experiencing symptoms such abdominal pain, kidney-related issues, nauseous sensation, ringing in the ears, or liver-related troubles, then getting diagnosed for hypertension is advised. This is because if you have hypertension, the development of the fetus could also be affected. Pregnant women may suffer from different types of blood-pressure conditions, including chronic hypertension, gestational hypertension, and chronic hypertension with preeclampsia, or just preeclampsia.

Controlling Hypertension During Pregnancy:

There are different ways of reducing the blood pressure levels during pregnancy. Some of these include the following:

  1. Body Exertion: During pregnancy, remaining active is extremely important. As a consequence, you can improve your cardiovascular health and also, lower your blood pressure levels. Additionally, this ensures the release of the ‘feel-good’ hormones known as endorphins. They help to keep you in a positive state of mind.
  2. Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco Intake: As a result of smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol, there could be an imbalance in the blood pressure levels. Especially pregnant women, especially those with gestational hypertension, are advised to abstain from these vices.
  3. Anti-hypertensive Drugs: In some cases, your doctor may deem it suitable for you to take blood pressure medications when you are pregnant. He or she will do so after studying your physical condition, even though these drugs are not advised for regular consumption during pregnancy.
  4. Never Miss Prenatal Appointments: Be sure to visit your doctor for regular check-ups to ascertain that your blood pressure levels are within the reasonable range. Also, your weight will be checked during your visits to the healthcare provider. Additionally, urine and blood tests will be conducted to ensure that the situation is under control. The medical professionals will check the fetus’s health as well during the visit. Through ultrasounds, they can monitor your baby’s heart rate and the overall development as per the gestational age.
  5. Controlling Hypertension Before Pregnancy: Prior to becoming pregnant, you can take some measures to keep your blood pressure levels within the normal range.
  6. Nutritious Diet: When planning for pregnancy, you must increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables to provide sufficient nutrients to your body. Also, the consumption of potassium-rich foods is advised to reduce the strain on blood vessels and subsequently, monitoring of the blood pressure levels.
  7. Postpone Pregnancy: If you are suffering from obesity, consider delaying your pregnancy. You must keep in mind that a lowering body weight to normal levels can help prevent hypertension during pregnancy. Therefore, at first, you should intensify your weight-loss efforts and only then, plan for pregnancy.

Conclusion: In case you develop hypertension during pregnancy, your medical practitioner may consider it suitable to induce labor prior to your due date for your well being, as well as the health of the fetus. Always work in conjunction with your doctor and carefully consider your options before taking any decisions. It is better to maintain a balanced approach so you do not regret your decisions later. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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