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St. Maarten Medical Center
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Dr. Alfredo Callo1316
Dr. Dorette Courtar1316
Ms. Regina Janga1301
Gestational hypertension, also referred to sometimes as pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH) is a condition of high blood pressure during pregnancy. Gestational hypertension can lead to a serious condition called preeclampsia (also referred to as toxemia). Hypertension during pregnancy aﬀects about 6-8% of all pregnant women.
High blood pressure can present itself in a few diﬀerent ways during pregnancy. The following are the 3 common types of gestational hypertension:
Chronic Hypertension- Women who have high blood pressure (over 140/90) before pregnancy, early in pregnancy (before 20 weeks), or carry it on after delivery.
Gestational Hypertension- High blood pressure that develops after week 20 in pregnancy and goes away after delivery.
Preeclampsia- Both chronic hypertension and gestational hypertension can lead to this severe condition after week 20 of pregnancy. Symptoms include high blood pressure and protein in the urine and can lead to serious complications for mom and baby if not treated quickly.
The following factors may increase the risk of developing gestational hypertension:
At each prenatal checkup your healthcare provider will check your blood pressure, urine levels, and may order blood tests which may show if you have hypertension. Your physician may also perform other tests that include:
Treatment depends on how close you are to your due date. If you are close to your due date, and the baby is developed enough, your health care provider may want to deliver your baby as soon as possible.
If you have mild hypertension and your baby has not reached full development, your doctor will probably recommend you do the following:
If you have severe hypertension, your doctor may try to treat you with blood pressure medication until you are far enough along to deliver safely.
Hypertension can prevent the placenta from getting enough blood. If the placenta doesn’t get enough blood, your baby gets less oxygen and food. This can result in low birth weight.
Often, one still can deliver a healthy baby if hypertension is detected early and treated with regular prenatal care.
Severe hypertension can lead to preeclampsia which can have much more serious aﬀects on mom and baby.
Currently, there is no sure way to prevent hypertension. Some contributing factors to high blood pressure can be controlled and some cannot. Follow your doctor’s instruction about diet and exercise.
Your doctor may suggest you take prescribed medicine and additional supplements.