Normal and High-risk pregnancies
Pregnancy is an exciting time for any women, but complications may develop sometimes even in healthy women. Most pregnancy complications can easily be detected and prevented during regular prenatal visits. One of the most common complications that arise during pregnancy is pregnancy induced hypertension.
Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH), also called preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication that usually starts after the 20th week of pregnancy. It is one of the main causes of concern in pregnant women as this severe form of hypertension may induce labour very early. Pregnancy induced hypertension might present as high blood pressure alone or accompanied with other conditions such as protein in the urine, swelling and even convulsions. The condition can be detected during antenatal visits and should be treated and monitored appropriately. If left untreated, this condition can cause serious problems for both the mother and the baby. In the mother PIH can cause placental abruption (premature detachment of the placenta from the uterus) and seizures. Pregnancy induced hypertension also causes less blood flow to the placenta. Complications in the baby include premature birth, low birth weight, stillbirth, or growth restriction. You should watch for signs such as rapid weight gain of 4-5 lbs in a week, severe headache, blurred vision, severe pain in the stomach under the ribs and consult your doctor immediately. During a routine check-up your doctor will check your blood pressure, urine levels, and may order blood tests which can show if you have preeclampsia. There are treatment options which include medications, dietary modifications, mild exercise and activity along with sufficient rest. In severe cases, your doctor may want your baby to be delivered. It is important to remember that hypertension during pregnancy is a serious condition and should be taken care of in order to prevent further complications.