What is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure happens when the pressure needed to move blood through you body rises above normal. For most pregnant women, a reading less than 120/80 is considered normal. A reading of 140/90 or greater is considered high blood pressure.
There are two types of high blood pressure during pregnancy:
- Pre-existing (chronic) hypertension: the woman has high blood pressure before pregnancy occurs or it develops before 20 weeks.
- Gestational hypertension: new high blood pressure that develops after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
If not controlled, high blood pressure in pregnancy can get worse and can have a worsening effect on your health and your baby's growth and development.
Will I have high blood pressure after my baby is born?
High blood pressure that develops during pregnancy may continue after delivery. In some cases, high blood pressure lasts up to six weeks after delivery or can become a long-term condition. Monitoring blood pressure and seeing the doctor soon after birth may be needed.
The AHCP offers monitoring of blood pressure for up to 14 days after delivery.
Some of the symptoms women with high blood pressure may experience are:
- Persistent headache, especially across your forehead or between your eyes
- Blurred vision, sensitivity to light, seeing spots, sparkles or stars in front of your eyes, or any difficulty seeing
- Persistent pain in your upper abdomen, particularly if you have never experienced this before
- Nausea or vomiting