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High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

What Is Considered High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy?

High blood pressure during pregnancy can become a major problem for some pregnant women. High blood pressure is determined when the blood pressure is higher than 140/90 mm Hg.  High blood pressure can stress your heart and cause problems during pregnancy.  

High Blood Pressure And Pregnancy: Is It An Early Sign?

High blood pressure in pregnancy is not considered an early sign.  Having high blood pressure can cause different complications during pregnancy.

Your Normal Blood Pressure While Pregnant

By the end of the 24th week of pregnancy, your body has produced an average of around 1 liter of extra blood. 

The extra blood your body produces helps carry oxygen and nutrition to the fetal. It also helps to get rid of the fetus waste.   

It’s quite normal for your blood pressure to rise because your body is working a lot harder to produce additional blood.

High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy Stages Chart

Severity Level 


Stage 1 (Mild)

Stage 2 (Severe)

Systolic Pressure

120 to 139 mmHg

140 to 149 mmHg

160 mmHg or higher

Diastolic Pressure

80 to 89 mmHg

90 to 99 mmHg

100 mmHg or higher

What Are The Different Types of High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy?

  • Preeclampsia
  • Chronic hypertension
  • Preeclampsia superimposed
  • Pre-existing 
  • Chronic high blood pressure

What Causes High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy?

If you’re diagnosed with high blood pressure before the 20th week it’s considered to be pre-existing which means it was not caused due to the pregnancy. 

However, gestational high blood pressure it develops after 20th week so of pregnancy. It can also later leads to other complications such as preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome, and eclampsia.

Risk Factors For High Blood Pressure While Pregnant

  • Diabetes
  • African American race
  • First pregnancy
  • Thyroid
  • Obesity
  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Doing prenatal yoga
  • Consuming salt 
  • Drinking too much water
  • Too much smoking
  • Too much consumption of alcohol
  • Carrying twins
  • History of induced hypertension
  • Getting plenty of rest

How To Prevent High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy?

If you’re suffering from chronic hypertension, make sure to talk with your physician.  During high blood pressure pregnancy taking calcium supplements are believed to help to avoid high blood pressure. 

What Are The Signs And Symptoms of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy?

How Is Blood Pressure Diagnosed During Pregnancy?

Your doctor will perform routine procedure during the pre-natal visits. 

  • The doctor will perform two BP reading, and they will be 4 hours apart is 140/90 or higher.
  • The diastolic pressure of 110 or higher

High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy Differential Diagnosis

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease in pregnancy
  • Primary hyperaldosteronism
  • Aortic coarctation    
  • Cushing Syndrome    
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Scleroderma    
  • Diabetes mellitus in pregnancy    
  • Protein c or s deficiency
  • Diabetic glomerulosclerosis    
  • Hypertensive encephalopathy    
  • Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
  • Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome in pregnancy
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation    
  • Pulmonary disease in pregnancy
  • Interstitial nephritisAcute and chronic glomerulonephritis
  • Gastrointestinal disease in pregnancy    
  • Hematologic disease in pregnancy
  • Antithrombin deficiency    
  • Hemolytic-uremic syndrome    
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Peripartum cardiomyopathy    
  • Hydatidiform mole    
  • Hypothyroidism

What Are The Risks of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy?

Effects on the baby

  • Lower birth weight
  • Numerous birth defects

Dangers to the mother

  • Miscarriage
  • Premature labor
  • Placental abruption
  • Preeclampsia
  • Risk of stroke
  • Severe headaches
  • Nausea
  • Decreased urine 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Impaired liver function
  • Changes in vision

How To Reduce High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy?

Being diagnosed with HB during pregnancy it's important to keep monitoring with medications and testing. The doctor will have you in best rest to manage the high blood pressure. 

Medications For Lowering High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy?

There are medications you can take while pregnancy to treat HB pressure. 

  • Methyldopa
  • Nifedipine
  • Hydralazine
  • Labetalol

Treatment of Severe Cases

If you have high BP reading hospitalization might be required to treat it.  Women who have past the 38th week might have induction of labor. 

Diet For High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy 

The best way to help control HB pressure is to increase the intake of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Making sure to include in your diet whole grains, vegetables, fresh fruits, fish, and poultry.

Treatment of High Blood Pressure After Pregnancy

In some cases, some women might need medical treatment after pregnancy. 

How Common Is High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy?

High blood pressure in pregnancy affects 1 out of every 10 pregnant women. 

High Blood Pressure ICD-9 and ICD-10 Codes

The ICD-9 code used for identifying high BP is 401 while its ICD-10 codes are I10, I11, I12, I13, I15 

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