High blood pressure in pregnancy arises when blood pressure is above 140/90 mmHg, especially in women who have never had an increase in blood pressure and can cause neck pain, belly pain, blurred vision, or swelling of the body.
Causes of high blood pressure during pregnancy may be related to an unbalanced diet or malformation of the placenta. The women most at risk from suffering of high blood pressure during pregnancy are those who are pregnant for the first time, are 35 years old, are obese or have diabetes.
Normally, the blood pressure is lower in the first half of pregnancy, returning to normal or may rise slightly in the second half of pregnancy and closer to delivery. Therefore, if during pregnancy you have high blood pressure, especially after the 20th week of gestation, you should see an obstetrician immediately.
High blood pressure in pregnancy can be dangerous because it can lead to the development of pre-eclampsia, a serious complication that can lead to miscarriage if it is not treated properly with a balanced diet or medication.
Symptoms that may indicate high blood pressure
Although sometimes high blood pressure does not cause any symptoms, the signs that may indicate high blood pressure in pregnancy are:
- Blood pressure greater than 140/90 mmHg;
- Constant headaches, especially at the nape of the neck;
- Severe pain in the belly;
- Blurred vision and sensitivity to light;
- Swelling of body parts such as legs or arms.
In the presence of symptoms of high blood pressure during pregnancy it is recommended you see the obstetrician as soon as possible to initiate appropriate treatment and avoid serious complications.
Treatment for high blood pressure during pregnancy
To treat high blood pressure in pregnancy, you should rest a lot during the day, drink 2-3 liters of water a day and eat a balanced diet with little salt or industrialized foods such as sausages, party snacks or chips.
In addition, other tips that help lower high blood pressure in pregnancy include drinking 1 glass of orange juice a day, practicing light exercise such as walking, yoga or water aerobics, 2 to 3 times a week, and avoid drinking more than one coffee a day.
However, in cases where the pressure does not decrease with these cautions, the obstetrician may recommend treatment with high blood pressure medication. In the more severe cases, you may have to stop working or stay in the hospital, avoiding the development of eclampsia. Find out what are the types of medication that can help control high blood pressure and are recommended for pregnant women.
Risks of high blood pressure during pregnancy
High blood pressure during pregnancy increases the risk of pre-eclampsia, a condition that usually appears after the 20th week of gestation and which, when left untreated, can progress to eclampsia, causing seizures, coma and even death of the mother and baby.
In cases where blood pressure can not be lowered, even with the medication prescribed by the obstetrician, labor should be induced to avoid the risk of death.
Diet to control high blood pressure
A diet to treat high blood pressure during pregnancy should be low in salt, rich in folic acid, because it has a vasodilatory action, helping to lower blood pressure, and should also be rich in water, to prevent the accumulation of fluids and relieve pressure inside the vessels.
One of the causes of high blood pressure in pregnancy may be being overweight. See if you are gaining the right amount of weight during pregnancy: