Fast beating heart and constant palpitations, quite a common package for pregnancy, isn’t it? Given the fact that pregnancy itself is so exhausting and daunting, add in high pressure during pregnancy further complicates the situation, doesn’t it?
Knowing about everything there is to know about the high blood pressure while pregnancy is an amazing way to be able to opt for precautions to handle them effectively.
By the end of this article, you will have a fair idea about everything there is to know about the prospects of hypertension and pregnancy.
High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
Hypertension is a condition that is caused by the increased pressure of the blood flow through the blood vessels in the body.
Experiencing something like this is common during pregnancy because of the fact that there could be a myriad of triggers for the condition.
People who already have issues with chronic hypertension are at risk of it getting worse during the times of the pregnancy. Doctors have suggested prior to this that handling the issue and regulating the symptoms during pregnancy doesn’t necessarily inflict any kind of negative impacts.
Causes of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
When it does come down to discussing about the causes behind the high blood pressure during pregnancy, there could be a number of reasons behind the same.
Some of the basic causes behind hypertension during pregnancy include:
- Obesity or being overweight prior to conceiving
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle during the pregnancy term and even prior to that
- Smoking and consumption of alcohol
- If it is the first pregnancy
- Hereditary reasons in which family members have undergone similar situations
- Being pregnant with more than one child
- Diabetes and other autoimmune diseases
While these account for the common causes behind the situation of high blood pressure during pregnancy, there are a few risk factors that could also be an additional factor for the induction of this condition, age, lifestyle and even the kind of pregnancy one is experiencing contribute to being some of the common reasons behind the same.
Signs and Symptoms of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
When it comes down to describing the signs and symptoms associated with high BP during pregnancy, they are more or less similar to what you experience in a “non-pregnant” way.
Apart from the common forms of symptoms, the event can also be distinguished into three distinctive stages for you to understand the symptoms better.
1. Elevated Blood Pressure
This is the preliminary stage when the blood pressure skirts around the levels of 120-129/80 mm of Hg. While the same might seem normal for some patients, the same can prove fatal for a pregnant woman if correct measures aren’t taken.
2. Hypertension Stage-1
The second stage of concern is when the blood pressure skirts around 130-139/80-89 mm of Hg and not something momentary but prolonged.
3. Hypertension Stage-2
The third and the common stage that the majority of the people tend to often discuss about is the one where the blood pressure exceeds the levels of 140/90 mm of Hg. This is a very alarming condition and requires immediate care and precaution to bring it down back to normal.
Majority of the doctors do suggest that if the condition of Stage 2 Hypertension persists and is witnessed on two or more occasions in a matter of a few hours, that is when the situation can be confirmed for gestational hypertension.
Types of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
When it comes to discussing about the types of hypertensive episodes during pregnancy, the possibilities are divided into four distinct types.
1. Chronic hypertension
It has been witnessed that women tend to have complaints of high blood pressure even before they get pregnant. These signs of persistent high blood pressure levels is often seen to be induced around 20 weeks of so before pregnancy as well. This situation is what is referred to as chronic hypertension.
2. Gestational hypertension
Gestational hypertension, just as the word suggests, is a condition of heightened blood pressure levels in pregnant women which is induced 20 weeks into the pregnancy.
This is not necessarily the condition associated with the presence of protein in the urine or the signs of organ damage in the mother and is more of a preliminary stage to the same.
3. Chronic Hypertension with Superimposed Preeclampsia
Pregnant mothers who are already suffering from chronic high blood pressure even before pregnancy have the risk of developing preeclampsia.
This is a condition which is characterized by the discharge of protein from the urine and even adds to the overwhelming pile of complexities into the loop.
Last but not least on the list is Preeclampsia. This is the condition that mothers do experience following 20 weeks into the pregnancy. The condition is marked by a number of conditions, signs of damage to the vital organs in the body like kidney, brain and even blood.
It is important to pay close heed to this condition and treat it without any kind of delay given the fact that the same can otherwise end up being quite fatal for the baby and the mother as well.
What Is too High For Blood Pressure During Pregnancy?
It is not something new to know that the term of pregnancy is a very vital and delicate time for every single mother and the baby too.
Any kind of alterations in one’s health has the potency to end up being a problem for both the mother and the baby.
When it comes down to assessing what would be a marker for high blood pressure during pregnancy, it is believed that anything above the mark of 120/80 mm Hg is considered harmful and dangerous, if not treated on time.
Whatever the circumstances be, it is important to keep track of the blood pressure and if you find the levels elevated more than 15 mm Hg more than what it was before pregnancy, it is time to pay close attention to the problem altogether.
Effects of High BP During Pregnancy
While we have been discussing about the basic overview of everything that one possibly needs to know about High BP during pregnancy, it is necessary that you also have a brief idea about what is there is to know about the effects of high blood pressure during pregnancy.
1. Hampered Blood Flow to the Placenta
One of the very first impacts that occur with the condition of hypertension during pregnancy is the fact that it obstructs the blood flow to the placenta.
The lack of proper blood flow to the placenta can often end up disrupting the steady flow of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus which can prove fatal for the baby.
2. Placental Abruption
This is one of the most common impacts of preeclampsia. In this condition, the placenta dislodges itself from the inner wall of the uterus before the steady delivery occurs.
If the condition is worse and at a stage which is followed by a heavy blood loss, there are chances that it could result in a miscarriage.
3. Intrauterine Growth Restriction
There is a steady pace at which the fetus grows and develops.
Hypertension during pregnancy has been found to be a key contributor in bringing those levels down by inflicting signs of reduced growth of the baby inside the womb.
4. Affecting the vital organs
There are often situations when the condition of preeclampsia imposes the threat of causing damage to the primary vital organs in the body of the mother.
If the condition of high blood pressure during pregnancy is not managed and regulated, chances are that the same can even bring about a fatal condition for the mother and the child as well.
It can even end up causing a heightened risk in the development of HELLP syndrome. If you are wondering what that is, it is an acronym for hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count.
5. Premature Delivery
Yet another one of the common effects of high blood pressure while pregnancy is the fact that it contributes to the induction of premature delivery in a number of patients.
This is mainly done to erase out the possibilities of further risk for the mother which is why doctors prefer to perform and emergency delivery just in case it is needed.
How to Control High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy?
When it comes to controlling high blood pressure during pregnancy, the possibilities might seem like a lot when in reality, they aren’t that extensive at all.
- The only way to keep everything under control is with close monitoring of the blood pressure. If required, just get yourself a blood pressure monitor so you can keep a track of the pressure changes and spikes in the comfort of your own home itself. It is always best suggested to take the readings at the same time every day for more accurate results.
- Stress during pregnancy can be a contributing factor to the heightened levels of blood pressure. Handle your stress maturely to ensure that it doesn’t pose as a liability for your condition and does end up making the situation worse.
Are Medications a Viable Option?
One of the common thoughts to linger in everyone’s mind is, “Are medications a viable option?”
If you are here wondering about the possible what ifs, the possibilities can be a bit confusing. When it comes down to the medications for managing the blood pressure, not all of them work and some can even become a potent threat for the mother and the baby.
Although, given the sensitivity of the situation, it is not surprising that there are options for you to look into. It is very important to ensure that you do pay close heed to the conditions associated before opting for medications.
Some of the medications for high blood pressure that are not deemed safe for consumption during pregnancy include:
- ACE inhibitors
- Angiotension receptor blockers
- Renin inhibitors
How to Prevent High Pressure During Pregnancy?
When it comes to lowering high blood pressure during pregnancy, the possibilities all do come down to how you mould your lifestyle for a relaxing experience.
Many might not realize this but in order to keep the blood pressure stable, it is very important to ensure that you do handle the situation actively.
Preventing the signs of hypertension during pregnancy is possible and these ways can help you achieve them.
- Handle your stress properly. If you are finding yourself being subjected to stressful situations, try and distance yourself away from the same. If required, take a walk and just calm yourself down for the best.
- Keep monitoring your blood pressure levels from time to time. This has been proven quite beneficial in handling the overall condition without any kind of issues whatsoever. If you find the levels spiked, reach out to a doctor to get the problem checked and seen.
- When it comes to the home remedies to control high blood pressure, using essential oils in air diffuser is actually a great way to calm down the environment and handle the symptoms effectively.
- Maintain a healthy diet to reduce high blood pressure during pregnancy. You might not realize this but it does play a very crucial role in the overall prospect of handling the blood pressure effectively without any kind of issues whatsoever.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol at all costs during pregnancy if you want to prevent the conditions of high blood pressure altogether.
High blood pressure during pregnancy is not necessarily a common thing to witness nor should it be. It is very important to keep a close eye out on the levels of the blood pressure and regulate them whenever the rate goes up above normal.