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High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy

Summary

If you are pregnant, high blood pressure can cause problems for you and your unborn baby. You may have had high blood pressure before you got pregnant. Or you may get it once you are pregnant - a condition called gestational hypertension. Either one can cause low birth weight or premature delivery of the baby.

Controlling your blood pressure during pregnancy and getting regular prenatal care are important for the health of you and your baby. Treatments for high blood pressure in pregnancy may include close monitoring of the baby, lifestyle changes, and certain medicines.

Some pregnant women with high blood pressure develop preeclampsia. It's a sudden increase in blood pressure after the 20th week of pregnancy. It can be life-threatening for both you and the unborn baby. There is no proven way to prevent it. Most women who have signs of preeclampsia are closely monitored to lessen or avoid complications. The only way to "cure" preeclampsia is to deliver the baby.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in
  • (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) - PDF Also in
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in

Symptoms

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in

Diagnosis and Tests

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in

Treatments and Therapies

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in

Related Issues

  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in
  • (American Heart Association)
  • (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation)
  • (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in

Specifics

  • (American Heart Association) - PDF
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians)
  • (American Heart Association) - PDF
  • (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation)

Genetics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)

Videos and Tutorials

  • Video (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation)
  • Preeclampsia Video (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish

Statistics and Research

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • From the National Institutes of Health

Patient Handouts

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