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Types Of Pregnancy Hypertension

Maintaining good health during pregnancy involves more than just watching your weight and taking your vitamins — it also includes managing blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

The increased rate of multiple births and older mothers has contributed to a rise in certain types of hypertension during pregnancy — age and carrying multiple babies are both risk factors for high blood pressure. But there are ways to prevent hypertension during pregnancy.

Types of Pregnancy Hypertension

Hypertension is defined as a reading greater than 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), and it can greatly increase the risk of heart disease and heart failure, as well as stroke and kidney problems. Blood pressure is the term used to describe how much pressure, or force, blood puts on artery walls when the heart beats.

There are three forms of hypertension during pregnancy that women should know about:

  • Preeclampsia. This is the most serious form of hypertension during pregnancy. The only way to control this condition is to deliver the fetus, which can lead to complications, including death of the mother and/or child. Preeclampsia typically occurs after 20 weeks.
  • Gestational hypertension. This form of hypertension occurs only during pregnancy and usually isn't a problem for the mother after delivery. Gestational hypertension can appear near the end of a pregnancy.
  • Chronic hypertension. This form of hypertension develops prior to pregnancy or in the early stages of pregnancy (before 20 weeks).

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