Gestational hypertension is high blood pressure in pregnancy. It occurs in about 3 in 50 pregnancies.
This condition is different from chronic hypertension. Chronic hypertension happens when a woman has high blood pressure before she gets pregnant. It’s also different from preeclampsia and eclampsia. These are other blood pressure problems in pregnancy.
This issue often starts in the second half of pregnancy. It normally goes away after your baby is born.
Healthcare providers don't know what causes this condition. The following things may increase your risk:
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each pregnancy.
The main symptom is high blood pressure in the second half of pregnancy. But some women don’t have any symptoms.
High blood pressure in pregnancy can lead to other serious issues. These can include preeclampsia. You should watch for signs of high blood pressure. They can include:
If your blood pressure increases, your healthcare provider may diagnose you with this condition. You may also have the following tests to check for this issue:
Your healthcare provider may check your blood pressure more often. You should also tell your healthcare provider if you have any new symptoms.
Your healthcare provider may do tests to check the health of your baby. These tests may include:
Your healthcare provider may test your urine and blood at every prenatal checkup. This will tell if your condition is getting worse.
Your healthcare provider may give you corticosteroids. These medicines can help your baby’s lungs form. You’ll get these medicines if it looks like your baby is going to be born early.
High blood pressure can affect your blood vessels. This may decrease blood flow in your liver, kidneys, brain, uterus, and placenta.
This condition can get worse. It can lead to preeclampsia and eclampsia. These are serious blood pressure problems. These issues can cause the following problems:
Because of these risks, your healthcare provider may decide that you need to have your baby early. This may happen before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
Even if your blood pressure goes back to normal after childbirth, you have a higher chance of having high blood pressure in the future.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider: