Gestational hypertension: Symptoms and Treatment

High blood pressure is a pregnancy complication that often goes unnoticed, although it may cause serious problems that may affect the life of the pregnant mother and her baby. In this article, I will talk about gestational hypertension, its symptoms, its treatment, and the complications resulting from leaving it untreated.

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Karine Chahda
Published on:Jun 13th 2024
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Gestational hypertension diagnosis

High blood pressure in pregnant women is considered high, and it is diagnosed as gestational hypertension when it reaches 90/140 if the expecting mom doesn’t have any history of high blood pressure. Suppose there are precedents, and she suffers from chronic high blood pressure and she is committed to taking the medication prescribed by her doctor. In that case, she needs to monitor her condition constantly, and her condition is not diagnosed as gestational hypertension or eclampsia. Cases of high blood pressure in pregnant women and preeclampsia usually occur between the twentieth week and the thirty-fourth week of pregnancy.

Symptoms of gestational hypertension

  • Swelling of hands and feet.
  • Facial swelling.
  • Headache.
  • Another symptom of high blood pressure in pregnant women is nausea, which is not related to pregnancy symptoms.
  • Vomiting.
  • Stomachache.
  • Excessive weight gain.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • High proteins in periodic urine tests may be a sign of pre-eclampsia.
  • Blurry vision.
  • High blood pressure over 90/140.

I would like to point out the necessity of measuring blood pressure using an accurate device. The batteries must be new. Electronic blood pressure monitors may give false readings if the batteries are old.

Causes

  • Pregnancy itself is one of the causes of high blood pressure in pregnant women due to hormonal changes, and the physical and psychological changes that accompany pregnancy.
  • Excessive consumption of salty foods.
  • Problems with kidney function.
  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Prior history of gestational hypertension.
  • Obesity.
  • Failure to adhere to prenatal visits is one of the factors that may increase the possibility of developing gestational hypertension.

Steps to treat gestational hypertension

  • After the internal medicine specialist confirms that the expecting mother has gestational hypertension, he prescribes blood pressure medications that are safe for pregnant women and advises her to adhere to a healthy diet.
  • She must also see a cardiologist and a nephrologist and undergo extensive, periodic tests and examinations.
  • A hypertensive pregnant woman needs to undergo careful and intensive medical follow-up, as her pregnancy is classified as high-risk, and she is at risk of developing preeclampsia and other more severe complications.
  • Therefore, it is also essential for the mother to monitor the baby’s movement to ensure that her condition does not deteriorate and affect the fetus’s safety.
  • It is recommended that a hypertensive pregnant woman sleep on her left side.
  • A pregnant woman who suffers from high blood pressure must stop all types of smoking immediately.
  • Reduce or limit caffeine intake.
  • And adhere to a healthy diet.
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Karine ChahdaMidwife Nurse

A new mom and Licenced Midwife, she holds a degree from the Lebanese University. Karine worked in the NICU unit at St. George University Hospital in Beirut. Then, she worked as a Midwife in the same hospital for five years. She joined the maternity ward at Danat Al Emarat Hospital in Abu Dhabi in 2021. Karine has a great passion for her role as a Midwife; she believes it is a blessing from God to witness the miracle of life born from another life. She thinks nothing is more beautiful than witnessing this miracle daily through her work. Karine believes that each of us has a specific role in life. She sees her role not as a job but as a vocation where she can assist others, and she is grateful for this blessing.

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