High Blood Pressure, Hypertension and Pre-eclampsia During Pregnancy

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It’s completely normal for your blood pressure to vary throughout your pregnancy and while this isn’t usually serious – in some cases it can pose health risks for both you and your baby.

Having high blood pressure, also known as ‘hypertension’ means your heart needs to pump harder to move blood around your body, which can have adverse effects.

If you’re worried about your blood pressure, or are in an at-risk group for developing more serious hypertension-related conditions, it’s recommended that you speak to a doctor.

Our GPs can discuss your symptoms and if needed, prescribe a course of treatment that’s safe for you and your developing child.

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What Causes High Blood Pressure, Hypertension and Pre-eclampsia in Pregnancy?

Changes in blood pressure are part and parcel of the pregnancy process and won’t usually have any adverse effects for you or your baby.

It tends to fall in early pregnancy, before rising slowly from about 24 weeks onwards and will only become problematic in around 16% of mums-to-be.

Expectant mums experiencing high blood pressure will usually be monitored closely, especially during labour and those with a pre-existing blood pressure condition will be advised on how to manage it by their doctor or midwife during the early stages of pregnancy.

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Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy-related condition that’s usually marked by high blood pressure, especially among women who’ve never experienced it before.

Swelling in the extremities (feet, hands and legs) and elevated levels of protein in the urine are also common symptoms and the condition tends to arise later in pregnancy.

Other common symptoms include:

  • A quick onset of weight gain
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • A reduction in urination
  • Regular attacks of nausea and vomiting
  • Changes in vision

If you’re worried about pre-eclampsia, notice any of the warning signs or have previously developed the condition during pregnancy – it’s vital to speak to a doctor as soon as possible.

Our doctors can discuss your symptoms and if necessary, refer you for treatment.

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