Hypertension, a common pregnancy related condition can lead to many complications if severe. It needs timely diagnosis and prompt treatment to reduce adverse effects on both the baby and the mother.
When women develop hypertension during pregnancy, decisions regarding when to start the treatment, the blood pressure to achieve and the drugs to use without negative effects on the baby are a major concern.
Treatment for hypertension during pregnancy has to be dealt with different and a more cautious approach than treating general high blood pressure in non-pregnant women. The main focus is on the prevention of serious issues such as placental abruption, stroke, restriction of fetal growth or major organ failure.
Treating gestational hypertension
Depending on the severity of condition, doctors recommend bed rest, short-term drug treatment or long-term drug treatment to pregnant women diagnosed with hypertension. Before choosing the type of treatment, important details including whether the expecting mom has high blood pressure before pregnancy, the stage of pregnancy and how the growing baby is doing need to be carefully considered.
Most women affected with gestational hypertension are advised to take rest and reduce their day to day activities to a minimum extent. This may not be considered as a definitive treatment, but offers certain benefits in aiding the reduction of high BP such as stress control. More on cases in which best rest is recommended during pregnancy.
Short-term and long-term drug treatment
Treating high blood pressure using drugs is an effective way of controlling hypertension during pregnancy. However, care must be taken in choosing the medications, as drugs pose certain risks for the mother and her baby. Administration of drugs is mostly done in case if the blood pressure is more than 150/100 mm Hg.
For short-term treatment, beta-blockers or sustained release medications may be prescribed. Long-term treatment may take a few weeks to months. Labetelol is one of the commonly used drug for short-term and long-term treatments.
Sometimes women may have to be induced in order to initiate labor and deliver the baby early, depending on the condition. Or your doctor may suggest c-section for you. Both the cases, you may or may not face further complications.
Most pregnant women diagnosed with gestational hypertension without any complications are likely to carry their baby to full term and give birth to a healthy baby. These women usually have normal vaginal deliveries with no other serious issues.