High Blood Pressure and Pregnancy

July 14th, 2010

What are high blood pressure symptoms? And how does this affect your pregnancy?

It is hard to self diagnose yourself with high blood pressure because the symptoms are not physical ones that you can see or necessarily feel. Some symptoms associated with this problem are; headache, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting, chest pain, and shortness of breath.

If you let it continue too long without bring those numbers down, then you could suffer from a heart attack, heart failure, eye damage, kidney failure, stroke, aneurysms, and possible peripheral arterial disease. These are all type of problems that could cause organ damage in your body.

While you are pregnant, it could result in what is called preeclampsia and is very dangerous if it is not taken care of throughout your entire pregnancy. When you go to your doctor appointments, you always have your blood pressure checked by the nurse.

This is done for good reason. They want to see what is normal for your blood pressure to use as a signal for later on if it increases.

They perform this little routine from the very beginning to help them determine what is normal and what could be abnormal for your body. Since every woman is different and has a different “normal range”, they regularly check you to note any differences each time you come in.

Even if you are diagnosed with this, you will probably not feel sick at all because these symptoms are similar to other general symptoms in pregnancy. Usually if you are diagnosed with it, you will be prescribed bed rest.

This can be very frustrating to most women because they do not feel sick so they do not feel like they need to spend their whole day in bed for the rest of their pregnancy. The important thing to remember is that you want to do what is the best thing for your baby and getting proper prenatal care is essential for your baby to be healthy.

There are a couple of other things that your doctor will ask you about to determine if you might have preeclampsia or not. They will ask you to urinate in a cup to test it for protein which is a symptom.

You will also be weighed, not only to keep track of how much weight you should be gaining, but also to make sure that you are not gaining weight too quickly. Women cannot prevent this from happening and the only way to get rid of it is to deliver the baby.

There are only about six to eight percent of pregnancies that develop preeclampsia in the United States every year. It is also known as gestational hypertension and toxemia.

There are some factors that are known to increase your risk for developing it throughout your pregnancy. These include women with; chronic hypertension (before getting pregnant), previous pregnancies where they had preeclampsia, an age under twenty years old or over forty years old, diabetes, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, multiples (more than one baby in the womb), and who were obese prior to conception.

Even though there are some women who might be at a higher risk than other women for toxemia, it can occur in any healthy pregnancy and needs to be watched for continuously. They might also have abdominal pain and sensitivity to light.

How can you further prevent any problems in your pregnancy after being diagnosed with it? You can make sure you keep your blood pressure under control by making lifestyle changes such as; obtaining regular prenatal medical care, avoid alcohol and tobacco, keeping your blood pressure under control as best as you can.

Taking care of yourself before you become pregnant is equally important. There are a few things that you should do before you decide to have a baby.

These things include; limiting salt intake, participating in physical exercise, losing weight (if you are overweight to begin with), and talking with your doctor about what to do if you were to get pregnant. Remember that you want your baby to be healthy but that your health is also just as important.

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