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Preeclampsia, eclampsia and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy

Unfortunately, high blood pressure does occur in pregnancy and the physician must determine whether this is a problem related to the pregnancy, such as preeclampsia or eclampsia, or if it is chronic hypertension that has been made worse by pregnancy.

The diagnosis depends on checking the blood pressure throughout the pregnancy, as well as examining the urine for excessive protein.

Treatment of elevated blood pressure during pregnancy depends on factors such as the severity of blood pressure and how the fetus is tolerating the elevated blood pressure. Frequently, medications are needed to control blood pressure and prevent maternal problems.

How does an increase in blood pressure affect my baby?

An increase in the mother's blood pressure can adversely affect the baby by decreasing the blood flow to the baby. Most of the time, this does not cause harm to the baby if the blood pressure is adequately controlled. However, close monitoring is necessary because if the blood pressure is not controlled, the baby may suffer permanent damage.

Does it mean I will have this problem with the next pregnancy?

Blood pressure problems are far more common during the first pregnancy. Preeclampsia is unusual after the first pregnancy. However, patients who have a problem of elevated blood pressure that is inherited and not related to the pregnancy may have an increase in their blood pressure with subsequent pregnancies.

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