What causes high blood pressure during pregnancy? What problems can it cause for the baby or me?


Between five and eight percent of women get high blood pressure during their pregnancies. The medical term for high blood pressure is hypertension. High blood pressure during pregnancy has several names: it is known as Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension (PIH), gestational hypertension, pre-eclampsia, or toxemia. The actual cause of this type of high blood pressure is not known.

It shows up more often in those women who are:

• Under age 20 or over age 40.

• Carrying twins or triplets.

It is also more common in women who have:

• Chronic high blood pressure – High blood pressure before becoming pregnant.

• A history of high blood pressure during a previous pregnancy.

• Diabetes – Either preexisting or gestational diabetes.

• Kidney disease.

The most common symptoms of Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension are:

• Blood pressure above 140/90 – After taking it several times.

• Too much protein in the urine – Sometimes urine is collected over a 24-hour period of time.

• Significant swelling – Hands, feet, legs, face, or lower back.

• Sudden increase in weight over a 24- to 48-hour period of time.

• Change in vision – blurry or double vision.

•Nausea or vomiting.

• Urinating less than the normal amount.

• Pain in the liver – It feels like heartburn in the area under the right breast.

• A blood test that shows stress in the liver or kidneys.

Important: If you have any of the above symptoms, tell your provider immediately. Do not wait until your next prenatal appointment.

Nov 03, 2011 | Category: Sickness | Comments: none


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