#Hypertension in pregnancy(HIP) is defined as systolic blood pressure of 140/90mmHg.It could be described as chronic, gestational, preeclampsia or eclampsia depending on the gestational period, the tendency for postpartum resolutions, presence of proteinuria or convulsion. Hypertension in pregnancy affects close to 22 percent of pregnancies in developing countries such as Nigeria.

High blood pressure during pregnancy can affect the development of the placenta, causing the nutrient and oxygen supply to the baby to be limited. This can lead to early delivery, low birth weight, placental separation (abruption) and other complications for the baby.

During pregnancy, high blood pressure (hypertension) can affect the body in different ways than it normally would. Both mother and baby may be at increased risk of complications

What is high blood pressure (hypertension)?

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. The heart pumps blood into the arteries (blood vessels) that carry blood throughout the body. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, means that the pressure in the arteries is above the normal range.

Hypertension during pregnancy can impact the body in different ways than it normally would. Mothers with high blood pressure during pregnancy are at higher risk of complications before, during and after the birth. Not only is the mother’s health in danger, but the baby can be impacted by high blood pressure during pregnancy.

Hypertension complicates about 10 percent of all pregnancies. There are several different types of hypertension during pregnancy. These types vary in severity and impact on the body. The forms of high blood pressure during pregnancy include:

  • Chronic hypertension- High blood pressure which is present prior to pregnancy
  • Chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia: It develops in someone who has high blood pressure before pregnancy.
  • #Gestational hypertension: This type of hypertension is noted in the latter part of pregnancy, but no other signs or symptoms of preeclampsia are present. Some women will later develop preeclampsia, while others probably have chronic hypertension before the pregnancy.
  • #Preeclampsia- A condition only found in the latter half of pregnancy and results in hypertension, protein in the urine, and generalized swelling in the mother. It can impact organs in the body and also cause seizures (eclampsia).

Who is at higher risk of hypertension during pregnancy?

A woman is more likely to develop high blood pressure during pregnancy if she;

  • Is under age 20 and over age 40.
  • Has a history of high blood pressure before becoming #pregnancy.
  • Has had gestational hypertension or #preeclampsia during past pregnancies.
  • Has a family history of hypertension.
  • Is overweight

The danger of hypertension during pregnancy

High blood pressure during pregnancy can prevent the food supply for the baby in the womb from receiving enough blood. The lowered amount of blood to the placenta can lead to low weight.

Other complications;

Steps to safe delivery with hypertension during pregnancy

  • Taking any blood pressure medication as prescribed
  • Going to all prenatal visit
  • Maintaining a healthy diet
  • Follow all instructions from your healthcare regarding activity and exercise
  • Having an early delivery if it is needed

Courtesy: Rays of Hope Support initiative #Rohsi3



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