Hypertension in Pregnancy

It's common to develop hypertension, or high blood pressure, during pregnancy. Up to 10% 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. The most common treatment for preeclampsia is delivery.

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 July 17, 2014

Sources

SOURCES:

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: "High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy."

Preeclampsia Foundation: "Symptoms."

St. David's Women's Center of Texas: "Pre-eclampsia."

Medscape: "Hypertension and Pregnancy."

Preeclampsia Foundation: "FAQS."

University of Rochester Medical Center: Gestational Hypertension.

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