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Hypertension in Pregnancy

It's common to develop hypertension, or high blood pressure, during pregnancy. About 5% to 8% of pregnant women do. Usually it starts after you've been pregnant for about 20 weeks. With good care, it won't harm you or your baby and will go away after you deliver. But you're more likely to develop hypertension again when you're older. If you get hypertension after mid-pregnancy, and you have protein in your urine or excessive swelling, you may have a more complex problem called preeclampsia. For that, your doctor may prescribe drugs and bed rest.

Call Doctor If:

  • You feel bloated, your ankles are very swollen, or your face or upper body has swelling when you wake up.
  • You have headaches, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light.
  • You have seizures or convulsions.
  • You want to take any OTC or prescription medication.

Step-by-Step Care:

  • Get early and regular prenatal care. Your doctor can monitor your blood pressure carefully and detect any problem early.
  • Don't smoke or drink alcohol.
  • Eat healthy, regular meals and take a prenatal vitamin.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Trina Pagano, MD on December 06, 2012

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