High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy
Approximately 6 to 8 percent of all pregnant women will experience high blood pressure. Although many women who experience hypertension during pregnancy have healthy babies without serious problems, the condition can be dangerous for both the mother and the fetus. Types of high blood pressure in pregnancy include preeclampsia or eclampsia, chronic hypertension, chronic hypertension with preeclampsia, and gestational hypertension.
Blood pressure is a measure of the pressure inside your blood vessels -- both while the heart is beating and while it is relaxed -- so, of course, high blood pressure occurs when the pressure within your blood vessels is too high. This is also known as hypertension.
Pregnant women can develop high blood pressure just like women who are not pregnant. However, women who are pregnant can develop a couple of different types of high blood pressure and the effects can differ.
Pregnant woman can experience several types of high blood pressure, such as:
- Preeclampsia or eclampsia
- Chronic hypertension
- Chronic hypertension with preeclampsia
- Late hypertension (also called gestational hypertension).
At this point, hypertension research scientists do not know the exact causes of high blood pressure during pregnancy. They do know, however, that the condition can affect blood flow to organs such as the: