Gestational Hypertension - A serious concern
|   Feb 24, 2016
Gestational Hypertension -  A serious concern


Lata was Five months pregnant when for first time she noticed her feet swelling. She discussed this with her mother in law and mother. To her relief they answered that swelling was common during pregnancy. With passing week her swelling ascended up to knee. By the end of seven month she noticed her arms were swollen too. Then one day while doing her hair she found her lips swollen. Now this was  analarming sign for her, she took an appointment and met her gynecologist. After measuring her blood pressure it was found to be raised.

Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (blood pressure higher than 140/90 mm Hg) also known as Gestational Hypertension affects 8-9% of pregnant women. PIH should not be taken lightly as it may lead to Preeclampsia - a serious condition that may lead to death. Also PIH may result reduced amniotic fluid, immature lungs in fetus and IUD (Intrauterine death).


1.  Gestational Hypertension- it usually develops after 20 week pregnancy and goes after few week of delivery.

2. Chronic Hypertension - common in women having hypertension before pregnancy, in case of early pregnancy (Before 20 weeks), usually continues even after delivery.

3.  Preeclampsia - This is a serious condition where there is protein in urine along with hypertension (greater than 160/110 mm Hg).

Risk Factor-

1.  First time pregnancy.

2.   Multiple gestation.

3.   Age less than 20 or more than 40 years.

4.   Past history of hypertension or renal disease.

5.  Obesity.

6.   Family history of hypertension or preeclampsia.

7.  Placental abnormality.


There is no specific treatment , management depends on how close you are to the due date. Your doctor may insist increased parental checkups to closely monitor condition so as to identify preeclampsia. If due date is close and baby is well developed it is better to plan delivery as soon as possible.

1.       In case of mild hypertension where baby is not fully developed doctor may recommend following:

     1.       Rest,  rest on left side take weight of baby off major blood vessels.

     2.      Less salt consumption. Avoid table salt.

     3.      Increase intake of water. 7 to 8 glasses per day.

2.     In order to control hypertension doctor may prescribe antihypertensive drugs. There are some antihypertensive drugs such as methyldopa, hydralazine and labetalol known to be safe and have no adverse effect on fetus and mother health. Protein supplements may be given in case of reduced amniotic fluid.

3.       In case of complications where if fetus reaches point of viability, early delivery to save both mother and baby is warranted even if baby is immature.


1.       Reduce salt intake. Avoid table salt.

2.       Drink lots of water. 7 to 8 glasses per day.

3.       Protein rich diet.

4.       Regular exercise or walk.

5.       Avoid tea and coffee.


 Any physical change like swelling, breathlessness, profuse vomiting even after 20 weeks, severe headache if noticed should be discussed with doctor immediately. These symptoms may be indication of gestational hypertension. Gestational hypertension if not managed properly and timely may be fatal to both mother and baby.

 Stay alert and take care. Happy pregnancy.


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