Hypertension, or more commonly known as high blood pressure, is dangerous for the mother and the child during pregnancy and labor. Abnormalities of the placenta will affect blood flow in the mother’s body and increase the risk of hypertension. Pregnancy-induced hypertension often occurs in the late stages of pregnancy, but it can also occur early on in the pregnancy. Once diagnosed, the patient needs to be closely monitored. The risk of seizures or other problems can affect the mother and the baby. When pregnancy-induced hypertension transpires in a patient, it can advance and become critical. In severe cases, hypertension can lead to premature delivery of the baby to save the mother’s life. Once pregnancy-induced hypertension progresses before delivery, it can lead to a bleeding disorder in addition to seizures. This is called eclampsia, and it is a potentially life-threatening condition.
Who is at higher risk of Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension?
A woman is more likely to develop hypertension during pregnancy if she:
- Has a history of high blood pressure before becoming pregnant
- Is under age 20 or over age 40
- Has diabetes or gestational diabetes
- Has a family history of gestational hypertension
- Is overweight
- Has kidney disease before becoming pregnant
- Has an immune system disorder
- Is expecting multiple babies
- Is African American
- Had in vitro fertilization
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