Is It Safe To Take High Blood Pressure Medication When You’re Pregnant
Some high blood pressure medications are safe during pregnancy and some are not, so check with your primary care provider and your OB or midwife if you already have high blood pressure. Its good to talk about it with them before youre thinking getting pregnant. If you already had hypertension, before you got pregnant, you provider may need to adjust your medication to something different. If youre taking a medication for your high blood pressure that is not considered safe in pregnancy and this wasnt changed for you prior to getting pregnant, you may need some closer follow ups and ultrasounds to make sure there was no danger caused to the baby.
High Blood Pressure And Pregnancy
High blood pressure, or hypertension, does not usually make you feel unwell, but it can sometimes be serious in pregnancy.
Your midwife will check your blood pressure at all your antenatal appointments.
If you are pregnant and have a history of high blood pressure, you should be referred to a specialist in hypertension and pregnancy to discuss the risks and benefits of treatment.
If you develop high blood pressure for the first time in pregnancy, you will be assessed in a hospital by a healthcare professional, usually a midwife, who is trained in caring for raised blood pressure in pregnancy.
Will I Still Have High Blood Pressure After The Baby Is Delivered
High blood pressure during pregnancy typically goes away after the baby is delivered but increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease in the future. Women who had chronic hypertension before pregnancy will usually still have the condition after delivery. Sometimes, blood pressure can remain high after delivery, requiring treatment with medication. Your healthcare provider will work with you after your pregnancy to manage your blood pressure.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/21/2019.
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High Blood Pressure And The Risk Of Dying During Pregnancy
You can develop high blood pressure during pregnancy even if youve never had it before. When that happens, its called gestational hypertension. When youve already had high blood pressure before you become pregnant, its called chronic hypertension. Both types of high blood pressure raise your risk of dangerous complications during and immediately after pregnancy.
A 2022 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that between 2017 and 2019, about one third of people in the U.S. who died during labor had high blood pressure. Most of them had developed it during pregnancy.
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The danger of dying from a complication related to high blood pressure is greater if youre over the age of 45 and/or medically obese, according to a Rutgers study. In addition, Black people, who are more likely to have high blood pressure-related health problems due to structural racism, are at particularly high risk of dying during pregnancy from a high blood pressure-related cause.
So its extremely important to understand what you can do to reduce your risk of high blood pressure-related complications before, during, and after pregnancy especially if you already have high blood pressure, or your risk of having it is high.
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Elevated Blood Pressure In First Trimester Increases Risk For Blood Pressure Disorder Later In Pregnancy
Elevated blood pressure in the first trimester of pregnancy, or an increase in blood pressure between the first and second trimesters, raises the chances of a high blood pressure disorder of pregnancy, according to a study funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development , part of the National Institutes of Health.
The study was led by Alisse Hauspurg, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and appears in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The researchers sought to determine how revisions in guidelines for blood pressure in non-pregnant adults might apply to pregnant women. The results suggest that blood pressure readings lower than those traditionally used to identify women as having high blood pressure may indicate a higher risk for a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, such as gestational high blood pressure, which develops after the 20th week of pregnancy, and preeclampsia, or high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Both conditions increase the risk for stroke in the mother and for stillbirth, preterm birth and low birth weight. Preeclampsia also increases the risk for eclampsialife-threatening seizures for the mother.
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Does Caffeine Lower Your Blood Pressure
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Why Is My Blood Pressure Determined
Measuring your blood pressure is a method of informing how well your pregnancy is going. Your midwife will be looking for signs of a possibly major problem called pre-eclampsia, particularly later in your pregnancy.
Pre-eclampsia isnt totally comprehended, but its thought it to happen when the placenta is not working along with it should. This can lead to high blood pressure and other problems. Your midwife will test your urine in addition to taking your blood pressure. Protein in your urine and high blood pressure are both signs of pre-eclampsia.
Having either pre-existing hypertension or gestational hypertension does suggest you are more likely to establish pre-eclampsia. Although it does not indicate you will absolutely get it. However the earlier gestational hypertension sets in, the greater your chance of establishing pre-eclampsia.
You might develop gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia without realizing it. In reality, you might feel perfectly well. Thats why its important to go to all your antenatal appointments so your midwife can routinely examine your blood pressure and urine.
You might also ask your midwife to describe to you the symptoms to look out for. And if you feel weak or odd for no obvious reason in between antenatal consultations, contact your midwife or doctor. Occasionally, pre-eclampsia can develop fast and its essential to get medical help quickly.
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High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy Treatment
If you have chronic hypertension, you may have been taking medicine for it before you became pregnant. Tell your doctor which medicine youre taking. He or she may say its okay to continue that medicine. But if the medicine isnt safe for your baby, you may need to switch to another medicine during your pregnancy. Like with all pregnancies, your doctor will check your blood pressure and urine during your regular appointments.
If you have gestational hypertension, your doctor will monitor your blood pressure and urine more closely. He or she will do this to watch for signs of preeclampsia. Your doctor may also monitor your baby. One way to do that is with an ultrasound. This is a painless test that lets your doctor see your baby inside your body.
What Is Hypertension In Pregnancy
Hypertension in pregnancy is very common. It can be serious both for the mother and for the baby, but if its appropriately diagnosed and managed, the outcome for the pregnancy will generally be good, says Dr. Norwitz.
Blood pressure measurements have two numbers, systolic and diastolic. Normal blood pressure in pregnancy is less than or equal to 120 systolic over 80 diastolic. This blood pressure appears as 120/80 or less. Hypertension in pregnancy is measured as 140 systolic or greater, or 90 systolic or greater. This blood pressure appears as 140/90 or more.
You need at least two blood pressure measurements more than 4 hours apart in order to make a diagnosis of high blood pressure in pregnancy, Dr. Norwitz says.
Hypertension in pregnancy can damage the placenta and lead to bleeding, also known as placental abruption. It also can lead to complications in the mother, such as stroke. Thats why its important to learn about the signs and symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent serious problems.
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Tracking Your Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
In addition to keeping all of your prenatal care appointments so your doctor can track your blood pressure readings, you might want to turn to home blood pressure technology, which has become quite good and should be considered fairly reliable.
In fact, for women with high blood pressure concerns, a home monitor is a nice way of taking ownership of ones care and being an active participant. Ask your physician which device shed recommend and then get a quick lesson on how to use it at home.
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What Are Possible Complications Of High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy
High blood pressure taxes the blood vessels, which in turn decreases blood flow to the liver, kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, uterus and placenta. When gestational hypertension isnt under control and the placenta isnt getting enough blood, fewer nutrients and oxygen make it to your baby, which can slow fetal growth.
And if gestational hypertension morphs into preeclampsia, premature delivery or placental abruption can occur, which is the too-early separation of the placenta from the uterus. In the worst of cases, stillbirth and eclampsia are possible. Untreated very high blood pressure can also lead to stroke.
Classification Of Hypertension In Pregnancy And Treatment Guidelines
According to NHBPEP and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists practice bulletins, hypertension in pregnancy is classified as chronic hypertension, preeclampsia-eclampsia, preeclampsia superimposed upon chronic hypertension and gestational hypertension . Chronic hypertension is defined as BP 140/90mm Hg before pregnancy or < 20th week of gestation or use of antihypertensive medication before pregnancy. Preeclampsia-eclampsia is a pregnancy-specific disorder that occurs after 20 weeks gestation. Eclampsia is the convulsive form of preeclampsia and affects 0.1% of all pregnancies. Preeclampsia can also occur superimposed upon chronic hypertension. Gestational hypertension is defined as new onset BP 140 mmHg systolic or 90 mmHg diastolic on at least two occasions, at least 6 h apart, after 20 weeks gestation, in the absence of proteinuria. This category encompasses women with preeclampsia who have not yet developed proteinuria, those with transient hypertension, if BP returns to normal by 12 weeks postpartum, and women with chronic hypertension, if BP elevation persists after 12 weeks.
The NHBPEP guidelines state that in pregnancy normal or acceptable blood pressure is SBP140 and DBP90 mmHg, mild hypertension SBP 140 to 150 or DBP 90 to 109 mmHg and severe hypertension 160 systolic or 110 diastolic mmHg.
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