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High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy

During pregnancy high blood pressure can be dangerous for both the mother and the fetus. Women with pre-existing, or high blood pressure are likely to have certain complications during pregnancy than those with normal blood pressure. Some women may have high blood pressure while they are pregnant which is often known as gestational hypertension. High blood pressure can harm the mother's kidneys and other organs, and at the same time it can cause low birth weight and early delivery of the child. In a more serious case the mother may develop a condition called preeclampsia or "toxemia of pregnancy" which can threaten the lives of both the mother and the fetus. Preeclampsia starts after the 20th week of pregnancy and is related to increased blood pressure and protein in the mother's urine. This can affect the placenta, the kidney, liver, and brain.

Elevated levels of blood pressure during pregnancy pose various risks like:

  • Decreased blood flow to the placenta.
  • The placenta can prematurely separate from the uterus.
  • Premature delivery.
  • It may lead to future cardiovascular disease.