Pregnancy

Hypertension (During Pregnancy)

Hypertension means high blood pressure, and it affects 25% of the population, most of whom are undiagnosed.

Hypertension means high blood pressure, and it affects 25% of the population, most of whom are undiagnosed. If you are pregnant, it’s important to have your blood pressure checked regularly even if it is normal. This will reduce your risk of developing pregnancy-induced Hypertension and is vital for maintaining the health of you and your baby.

What causes hypertension?

Hypertension occurs if there is an increased resistance of blood flow through the vessels. If this happens your heart and arteries will be subjected to increased strain which can lead to major health complications such as increased risk of heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease, embolism, aneurism, stroke and dementia. If you are pregnant, it can also cause pre-Eclampsia and Eclampsia. Both are very serious and are totally avoidable with the help of modern medicine and experienced antenatal care.

What does a blood pressure test involve?

  • Measuring systolic pressure- your blood pressure when the heart is pumping
  • Measuring diastolic pressure- your blood pressure when your heart is resting between beats

What do my results mean?

  • Reading below 120/80mmHg = healthy blood pressure
  • Reading below 90/60mmHg = low blood pressure
  • Reading above 140/90mmHg = high blood pressure
  • If your blood pressure is found to be high, treatment is needed to control it. This may include lifestyle changes and medication
  • If you have Hypertension during pregnancy, it must be closely monitored and you may be asked to participate in blood studies
  • Patients with Hypertension will often require medications to control their blood pressure and to protect all the major organs

How can I reduce the risk?

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Eating a diet low in salt
  • Eating a balanced diet with at least 5 potions of fruit and vegetables daily
  • Reducing (if not abstaining from) alcohol consumption
  • Reducing (if not abstaining from) caffeine consumption
  • Not smoking

It is recommended that everybody should take a blood pressure test at least once to twice a year. This will detect early changes in the blood pressure so that they can be treated accordingly.

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