Hypertension is having high-blood pressure reading of 130/90 mm Hg during pregnancy. This is a serious condition, which may cause complications in pregnant women. Gestational hypertension usually shows up in the middle of second trimester and resolves after the baby is born.
What is considered as normal blood pressure?
When you first visit your doctor, they measure your blood pressure as baseline reading. From then on, your BP will be measured at your regular prenatal visit. If it is less than 120/80 mm Hg, it is considered as normal. This is because in the early pregnancy stage, hormones may cause the blood vessels to dilate and this can lead to decreased blood pressure.
What causes hypertension during pregnancy?
- Being pregnant with your first baby
- Being aged above 40 years
- Having a sister or mother in family who’s had hypertension during pregnancy
- Carrying multiples
- Having high BP before conceiving
- Being overweight at the time of conception
Signs of hypertension during pregnancy
Signs and symptoms of hypertension during pregnancy may differ for each pregnancy. Some expecting women may not experience any symptoms at all, but it is important to check blood pressure regularly. One of the main symptom is high blood pressure itself.
- Severe and continuous headache
- Swelling of face and hands
- Change in vision
- Pain around abdomen or upper right region
- Sudden increase in weight
- Cold skin
- Low urine output
- Shortness of breath
If you have any of these symptoms, it may not necessarily mean that you have hypertension, because most of these signs are common pregnancy symptoms. Your doctor will be able to determine it by running some additional tests.