Maintaining a healthy blood pressure level is important for everyone. However, in the case of a pregnant woman, high blood pressure can be an added risk to the health of the fetus. High blood pressure or hypertension is defined by a blood pressure reading that is higher than 140/90mmHg. This indicates how much pressure the blood exerts on the walls of the arteries every time the heartbeats. There are three different types of hypertension a pregnant woman can suffer from. These include:
- Chronic hypertension: This refers to high blood pressure conditions that were existing prior to or in the early days of pregnancy.
- Gestational hypertension: Women who develop hypertension after the 20th week of pregnancy suffer from gestational hypertension.
- Pre-eclampsia: This is the most severe form of hypertension for a pregnant woman. It may be caused by either of the above types of hypertension and is characterized by the presence of proteins in the urine. It usually occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy.
Some women have a higher risk of developing hypertension when pregnant as compared to others. Some of the factors that could influence this are obesity, a family history of hypertension and being younger than 20 years old or older than 40. Women have a higher risk of suffering from hypertension during their first pregnancy or if they are pregnant with multiple fetuses.
If you suffer from hypertension when pregnant, your baby will not get enough oxygen and nutrients. This can slow the growth of the fetus or cause low birth weight. It can also cause placental abruption and premature delivery. In severe cases, preeclampsia can be fatal for the mother and the baby.
Reducing your risk of hypertension when you’re pregnant is easy. Here are a few tips.
- Eat Right: It is natural to crave certain foods when pregnant but you should make an effort to eat healthily. Get plenty of fruits and vegetables and ensure that you have a balanced diet. Avoid processed foods, fried foods, colas and food with high salt content. It is also advisable to reduce your caffeine intake.
- Exercise Regularly: Exercise not only helps you manage your weight but also reduces the risk of hypertension. However, be careful about your exercise regimen. If you have lived a fairly sedentary lifestyle until your pregnancy, do not suddenly start anything strenuous. Low-intensity workouts like walking and cycling are ideal for pregnant women.
- Reduce Stress: It is natural to be worried about being pregnant but this does not help you in any way. The more stress you take on, the higher your risk of hypertension. Hence, avoid stressful situations and try deep breathing exercises and yoga to keep you calm.
In case you have any query then you can consult with Gynecologist in Pune for instant and right consultation.