What is Chronic Hypertension
in Pregnancy?

Chronic hypertension in pregnancy is a medical condition, in which there is a long standing elevated blood pressure, that has already been established or diagnosed... it may be within few weeks, months or years...in a woman before she conceived.

In other words, a known hypertensive lady... whether on treatment or not, whether she has a controlled or uncontrolled hypertension is now pregnant...

Please also note, sometimes people have high blood pressure without knowing it. Unless you check your BP and get accurate results... you may not know you have elevated blood pressure.

It is important to point out, a lot of ladies around the world who have high blood pressure, are able to conceive and give birth to a healthy child or children, when their bp is managed adequately and properly.

There are two main types of hypertension.. Essential and secondary hypertension

Chronic high blood pressure in pregnancy.... in this case, you will have to rely on your physician or health care provider to let you know, which specific kind you have.

Chronic hypertension during pregnancy is not the same as Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH)... which is an older term used for Gestational High blood pressure... which generally occur after the 20 th week of pregnancy in a woman who was known to have normal blood pressure readings before conception.

In early pregnancy or rather first trimester...like any other time during conception, your physician or health care professional will generally pay particular attention to the :

  •  accurate measurement of BP
  •  weight measurements
  •  checking the urine for protein
  •  fetal growth
  •  medications that are safe for the fetus (baby) during pregnancy

What is Pulmonary Hypertension in Pregnancy?

Pulmonary hypertension in pregnancy is a situation in which the pressure is sustainably and abnormally high in the pulmonary arteries of the lungs.

Pulmonary arteries are unique the blood vessels that carry de-oxygenated blood back to the heart.

This high pressures in the arteries affect the pulmonary (lung) circulation and the general workings of the lungs... mainly the alveoli.

This is a very serious medical condition causing shortness of breath, dry cough, general weakness... etc.

Mostly in this case, the pregnant woman has to be under the care of a medical lung specialist, Respirologist or Pulmonologist.

Superimposed Preeclampsia

Superimposed preeclampsia is a medical condition, in which a pregnant woman,  known  to have history of high blood pressure... now develops / have proteinuria...(protein in the urine)

... after the 20 th week of pregnancy.

 But note, superimposed preeclampsia can also develop anytime, during pregnancy including, before, during and after the delivery of the baby.

       Management of Chronic Hypertension
during Pregnancy

 Managing Chronic hypertension during pregnancy is a delicate endeavor and the doctor has to be very careful taking into consideration the well-being of the fetus (baby) and mom-to-be, in order  to avoid, the unwanted and lasting effects of any medication(s) or treatment on the fetus and mom.

For your pregnancy and hypertension management to go smoothly, you must disclose all the medications you take to your doctor or health care provider, including the over-the-counter ones, natural and herbal supplements.

Eat a well-balanced diet and lots of fruits and vegetables.

Learn how to accurately check and document your own BP readings

Measure your own weight at least once a week

Use all your prescribed medications as ordered, and report any side effects promptly to your care givers.

Your obstetrician gynecologist / pregnancy doctor will discuss your specific blood pressure goal with you...meanwhile, learn how to accurately measure your own blood pressure

You can buy your own BP monitor, ask your pregnancy doctor, to recommend one for you... they are very easy to use.

  Complications of Chronic Hypertension in Pregnancy

Placental insufficiency : is when the placenta, is not able to deliver adequate nutrients, oxygen etc to the fetus in the womb.

Intra-uterine growth restriction: this is caused by many factors, but mainly, when the maternal supply of oxygen and nutrients, is compromised, leading to poor fetal growth and small for gestational age...of the fetus.

Placental abruption:  this happens when the placenta, the main supply of nutrients from the mother-to-be, to the fetus is either partially or completely peeled off the wall of the uterus  (womb)

This leads to bleeding. It is a very serious medical condition, if left untreated immediately.

Prematurity:  this is when the baby is born, before the 37 th week of pregnancy obviously, this gives the newborn less time to develop in the womb.

This can lead to other medical problems for this newborn. This will depend on the severity..... like those born before the 25 th week of gestation.


       Pregnancy Care Tips

       Gestational Hypertension

       Normal Blood Pressure