The danger of high blood pressure in pregnant women

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There have been many articles written about the danger of high blood pressure in pregnant women and although my article may not present an entirely new concept I still hope that this article of mine will be able to help in providing further awareness especially among expecting mothers on the danger brought about by high blood pressure.

The first thing that we ought to know is what exactly is high blood pressure? High blood pressure is termed for blood pressure readings that are greater than 140mm Hg systolic over 90 mm Hg diastolic or 140/90. High blood pressure is also known as hypertension and contributes to the development of coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart failure as well as kidney diseases. Although there have been little known effects on the babies of pregnant mothers with hypertension however the fact still remains that hypertension can be dangerous for both the mother as well as the fetus. Pregnant women especially those with pre-existing or chronic high blood pressure are more likely to experience complications during the duration of their pregnancy compared to those pregnant women with normal blood pressure. However, there are some cases wherein some women develop high blood pressure while they are pregnant and this kind of high blood pressure is called gestational hypertension.

In addition, high blood pressure among pregnant women may range from mild to severe. Severe high blood pressure tends to harm the mother’s kidneys as well as the other organs and may result to low birth weight and even early delivery. Aside from that, oftentimes mother with severe high blood pressure develops preeclampsia or toxemia of pregnancy and may endanger the lives of both the mother as well as the fetus. This condition usually starts on the 20th week of the pregnancy and is well known to increase with blood pressure and increase protein in the mother’s urine. Preeclampsia may affect the mother’s kidney, liver and even the brain. Preeclampsia that cause seizures are known as eclampsia and is the second leading cause of maternal death. Aside from that, preeclampsia is also known to cause fetal complications such as low birth weight, premature birth and stillbirth.

Furthermore, there are still no proven methods of preventing preeclampsia. On the other hand, the only known way of curing preeclampsia is for the mother to finally deliver the baby. Preeclampsia is more dominant in older expectant mothers and for mothers of multiple births.

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

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