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How high blood pressure affects pregnancy

Dr. Hiremath explains how high blood pressure during pregnancy can raise the risk of complications

Published: Jan 30, 2020 10:49:29 AM IST
Updated: Jan 30, 2020 11:20:56 AM IST

How high blood pressure affects pregnancy

High blood pressure or hypertension during pregnancy can impact the body in different ways than it normally would. It poses a higher risk of complications not only to the mothers, but may also impact the baby. Several factors influence the risk of hypertension during pregnancy in women, such as age, body weight, previous pregnancies, medical history including the history of high blood pressure, immune disorder, kidney disease etc. High blood pressure complicates about 10 percent of all pregnancies.

A majority of cases can be prevented by making simple lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise. It is important for women to attend regular prenatal checkups to ensure that their blood pressure and other vital signs are within normal ranges, and receive treatment if not. The management of hypertension during pregnancy depends on the severity, cause and time of onset.  Hypertension during pregnancy typically goes away after childbirth, but increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease in the future. While a doctor must closely monitor hypertension in pregnancy to prevent potentially life-threatening health complications, it is important that pregnant women attend regular prenatal evaluations and report any abnormal symptoms to ensure their own health and that of their infant.

Issued in Public Interest by USV PVT LTD 

Family History and High blood pressure

A family history of high blood pressure means you have someone in your family (a blood relative such as a mother, father, sister, or brother) who has or had high blood pressure before the age of 60. Family members share genes, behaviors, lifestyles, and environments that can influence their health and their risk for disease. The risk for high blood pressure can increase even more when heredity combines with unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as smoking cigarettes and eating an unhealthy diet.

If you have one or more close family members with high blood pressure before the age of 60, it means you are twice likely to have it. It is important to understand that a family history of high blood pressure does not mean you will have high blood pressure, but it does increase your chances. To keep high blood pressure at bay while you have family history, you should get your blood pressure checked at least once a year to make sure it is within normal levels.

Reduce other risks for high blood pressure by eating healthy foods, using less salt, exercising, losing weight if needed and stopping smoking. If you are already being treated for high blood pressure, it is important to take the medications regularly that have been prescribed for you. Also, keep your scheduled appointments with your health care provider.

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.

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