Our Austin obgyns carefully monitor high blood pressure during pregnancy
High blood pressure during pregnancy may cause problems for both mother and baby, especially if it’s not carefully monitored by our experienced Austin obgyns. High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when there is a reading of 140 or greater for the top, or systolic, number, and/or a bottom, or diastolic, number of 90 or greater. Women with high blood pressure during pregnancy have a high-risk pregnancy that requires extra care and management.
Two types of high blood pressure during pregnancy
Women who have high blood pressure during pregnancy have one of two types.
- Chronic hypertension is high blood pressure that is present before the woman conceives or high blood pressure that occurs before the 20th week of the pregnancy. Women with high blood pressure usually don’t have any symptoms that alert them about the condition. The preconception planning appointment and the first prenatal visit provide our physicians with an opportunity to uncover potential issues such as chronic hypertension.
- Gestational hypertension is high blood pressure during pregnancy that develops after the 20th week. This type of high blood pressure usually goes away after the woman gives birth. Gestational hypertension may put a woman at higher risk for developing hypertension in the future.
High blood pressure may cause problems and complications during pregnancy
High blood pressure during pregnancy may cause problems, especially if the mother is not receiving regular prenatal care.
- Preterm delivery. If the baby isn’t receiving vital nutrients or the mother is experiencing life-threatening complications, preterm delivery may be necessary.
- Restricted blood flow to the placenta. High blood pressure may cause blood flow to the placenta to decrease, depriving the baby of vital nutrients and oxygen. This can result in low birth weight or preterm birth.
- Extra stress on the mother’s organs. If a mother is not receiving the proper care and medication for her high blood pressure during pregnancy, her lungs, heart, kidneys and other organs may be under extra stress.
- Higher risk of C-section.
- Placental abruption. This serious condition occurs when the placenta separates prematurely from the uterine wall before birth. This is a medical emergency.
- Preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a serious condition that may develop during pregnancy. One sign our Austin obgyns check for is proteinuria, an abnormal amount of protein in a woman’s urine. This condition typically occurs during the third trimester, but may occur before the 32nd week of pregnancy.
Managing high blood pressure during pregnancy
High blood pressure during pregnancy can cause complications, but proper management helps keep the mother and her baby healthy throughout the pregnancy. Our Austin obgyns carefully monitor a woman’s blood pressure and may require additional office visits and tests. Prenatal care allows our physicians to detect any problems early and treat or manage them before they become dangerous complications.
Our Austin obgyns are experts at managing high blood pressure during pregnancy. Contact us for an appointment.