05 January

High Blood pressure during Pregnancy

Pre-eclampsia happens in pregnant women usually after 20 weeks of gestation. So what is Pre-Eclampsia? Pre-Eclampsia is the increased blood pressure and occurrence of protein in the urine, during pregnancy for the first time. Various organs of the mother can also be injured, like the eye, liver, Kidney, and brain. While some women may not show any symptoms, there may be some women who could show a few symptoms.

Mild Pre-eclampsia -  high blood pressure, water retention, and protein in the urine.

Severe Pre-Eclampsia - headaches, blurred vision, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, urinating small amounts, pain in the upper right abdomen, shortness of breath. swelling of the legs, hands and face., headache, nausea, and vomiting. Swelling of the brain can cause a headache, confusion, and seizures.

When the women have seizures along with pre-eclampsia, the women are said to have eclampsia.

 Pre-Eclampsia mostly happens with

- First-time pregnant women

- In women with multiple pregnancies

- In women older than 35 years of age

- In obese women

- In women with Hypertension even before pregnancy

- In women with family history of Diabetes

- In Women who had Pre-eclampsia in previous pregnancies.

 Why does it happen?

Normally during pregnancy,  the spiral arteries of the uterus dilate to 5 to 10 times their normal size to supply more blood to the placenta. But during pre-eclampsia the arteries narrow down and are fibrous ( shriveled up) thus, reducing the blood supply to the placenta and in turn decreasing the nutrition to the growing baby. This causes growth retardation and in severe cases death of the baby. Some proteins are released by the unhealthy placenta which causes the increase in blood pressure in the mother.

So the mother’s  blood pressure reading can go up to more than 140/90 mmHg and in severe cases more than 160/110 mgHg and protein in the urine. This high blood pressure can cause the placenta to get separated from the uterine wall and cause premature labor.

How will I know, I have Pre-eclampsia?

Your Doctor will check your BP at every Pre-natal visit and will also check for protein content in the urine. He /She will also do some blood tests to check for the functioning of Kidneys and some blood clotting factors.

Treatment -

It depends on how close to due date is the Pregnant lady. If she is close to due date and as the problems related to pre-eclampsia is due to the placental proteins released in to the mother’s circulation, the treatment is the delivery of the placenta and the baby.

But, if the baby is still not very well developed and the mother has more time for delivery, then the doctors may advice you to take rest, decrease your salt intake, change your diet and increase your water intake and may start you on some blood pressure medication, so as to keep  the blood pressure under control, till a point when it is safe for you and the baby to deliver.

 If Pre-eclampsia is not identified and treated quickly, it can lead to complications for both the mother and the baby.

About our blogs

We have put together weekly developments during pregnancy. These articles are only for information. Every pregnancy is different and every woman's experience may be different. We also have articles relating to women's health, infertility and plan to add information about newborn care. Through the blogs, videos and our online consultation services, we are trying to empower mothers (as well as soon-to-be-moms) with health information which is easily understandable. Our mission is to help mothers have a happy pregnancy and a very happy postpartum experience. 

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Pregnancy brings a new meaning to the concept of beauty to a woman. It is a period of immense joy, excitement and anxiety. The feeling of carrying a little soul within you is beautiful.

Last modified on Monday, 06 August 2018 11:36
Dr Padma

Dr Padma is a Family care physician and is the Founder and CEO of MedHealthTV.


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