Hypertension & Pregnancy
Some Women may have raised blood pressure during pregnancy. If this occurs after 20 weeks and associated with excess protein in your urine, it may part of complex condition called preeclampsia. ‘
Am I more likely to get Pre-eclampsia?
Some women have a higher chance of having Pre-eclampsia during their pregnancy. These include:
- Women in their first pregnancy
- Women with pre-eclampsia in their last pregnancy
- Women with pre-existing diabetes
- Women with high BP prior to pregnancy
- Women with autoimmune diseases like SLE
- Women with kidney diseases
- Women who are Obese (BMI > 30)
What are the implications for me if I have preeclampsia?
If you have pre-eclampsia, you will need a complete assessment of your health and your baby’s health. You will possibly be commenced on medications to stabilise your blood pressure. Depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy and how severe your condition is, a plan for how long to safely continue your pregnancy will be made. In severe cases, it can affect the function of your kidney, liver, clotting of blood and increases risk of seizures.
How will preeclampsia affect my baby?
Preeclampsia can affect the placental blood vessels, the effect of which could be:
- Fetal growth restriction
- Reduce fluid around your baby
- Preterm birth and the consequences of prematurity depending on how early the baby is born.
What happens if my preeclampsia is severe?
- You will need to be admitted to the hospital
- You will have a drip in your arm
- You will be given medications to lower your blood pressure
- You could be at an increased risk of having seizures and to prevent this you may be commenced on magnesium infusion (given by a drip in your arm)
- Once your blood pressure is controlled, you will need to be delivered (If you are still pregnant)
- You can have severe preeclampsia even after you have delivered your baby for upto a couple of weeks.
What are the implications for my future pregnancies?
- You are at an increased risk of having pre-eclampsia in your future pregnancy
- Taking aspirin in a low dose (started prior to 12 weeks) may reduce the risk of having pre-eclampsia in your next pregnancy. This should be done in consultation with a specialist.