What is hypertension?

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, increases the risk of heart disease and stroke- risk factors include obesity, smoking, and family history. In some women, blood pressure skyrockets during the second and third trimesters — this is commonly referred to as gestational hypertension and can lead to preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a new high blood pressure after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and usually goes away after the birth of the baby.

Dangers of hypertension for mom & baby

Preeclampsia can prevent the baby from getting enough oxygen in the womb, and can also harm mommy’s kidneys, liver, or brain. Some women with extreme preeclampsia have seizures (referred to as eclampsia). The exact cause of preeclampsia is unknown but seems to start because the uterus doesn’t grow its usual network of blood vessels deep in the uterine wall. This leads to poor blood flow to the placenta, which causes your body to overcompensate, leading to the high blood pressure.

Risk factors

Preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders occur in 5-8% of pregnancies. The women at the highest risk have had/are:

  • Previous history of preeclampsia
  • Multiple gestation (i.e., pregnant with more than one baby)
  • History of chronic high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease or organ transplant
  • Obesity
  • Family history of preeclampsia (i.e., a mother, sister, grandmother or aunt had the disorder)
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Lupus or other autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis and multiple sclerosis
  • In-vitro fertilization
  • Sickle cell disease

Treatment options

There are treatments for preeclampsia. For milder cases, reducing your level of activity and monitoring how you feel (both by frequent office visits and daily home monitoring) will suffice. For more moderate to severe cases, especially that are rapidly getting worse, expectant management is recommended. Expectant management usually includes bed rest, medicine, and close monitoring of you and your baby by hospital staff.

Take steps to protect baby's health

Having a rough pregnancy doesn’t mean things will always be so hard! You can take steps to ensure baby’s health and wellness postpartum by providing them with nature’s best nutrition- breast milk. Your insurance company may cover breastfeeding equipment and supplies at little to no cost to you- find out if your policy is compliant by completing the simple, three-step Qualify Through Insurance form.

A Breastpump Specialist will contact your insurance company, verify your coverage and network status, and contact you within 3-5 business days. No insurance? No problem! Aeroflow carries a wide variety of pumps and breastfeeding accessories at competitive pricing on our online store. We look forward to hearing from you!

Information provided in blogs should not be used as a substitute for medical care or consultation.