Blood Pressure Home > 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.

Pregnancy and High Blood Pressure: An Overview

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.
 

Types of High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy

Pregnant woman can experience several types of high blood pressure, such as:
 

What Causes It?

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:
 
  • Kidneys
  • Brain
  • Liver
  • Retina
  • Placenta.
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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