Gestational hypertension is one of the common diseases of pregnant women. This condition can cause many serious complications if not treated promptly. Besides, pregnant women often worry and wonder if high blood pressure can give birth naturally or not? Please learn about this problem and how to properly handle it through the following article of Doctor Luong Sy Bac!
What is gestational hypertension?
High blood pressure (or hypertension) is when your blood pressure is higher than your body’s normal range. Normal blood pressure levels vary from age to age. For adults and pregnant women. High blood pressure is when the systolic blood pressure is ≥ 140 mmHg and/or the diastolic blood pressure is ≥ 90 mmHg.first
High blood pressure during pregnancy can happen when a woman is pregnant or has had it before. Specifically, the following cases are included:2
Pregnant women with chronic hypertension
This is a case of pregnant women who have had high blood pressure before, or before 20 weeks of pregnancy. A pregnant woman may not know or know her high blood pressure.
If diagnosed with chronic hypertension. The mother must be screened after 6 weeks postpartum. Because at this time, the impact of pregnancy on the pregnant woman’s body has decreased, so the disease is revealed. In addition, pregnancy can also aggravate some cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, when planning to have a baby, a mother should go to the doctor to determine that she is healthy enough for a pregnancy.
This is a condition in which a woman develops high blood pressure after the 20th week of pregnancy. Even if you have never had high blood pressure before. However, the mother can recover within 6 weeks of giving birth.3
At present, the mechanism causing this gestational hypertension has not been completely determined. But some theories suggest it could be due to hormonal changes and abnormal invasion of the placenta.4 5
Preeclampsia and eclampsia
This is a condition in which a woman has high blood pressure during pregnancy. In particular, accompanied by dangerous manifestations such as proteinuria, thrombocytopenia, etc. Preeclampsia is a dangerous disease and can affect the life of both mother and baby. Therefore, pregnant women need to have antenatal checkups on schedule to be screened and detect preeclampsia in time.first
Unclassified antenatal hypertension
This term refers to cases of high blood pressure after the 20th week of pregnancy. However, pregnant women do not know if they have had high blood pressure before. Therefore, the patient should be examined and re-evaluated after 6 weeks postpartum. If blood pressure returns to normal, this is gestational hypertension. Conversely, if the blood pressure of the pregnant woman does not return to normal, this is chronic hypertension.2
So, the question is can high blood pressure have a normal birth? Let’s find out in the next sections.
Danger of gestational hypertension
Blood pressure is the pressure the heart produces to push blood to the organs of the body. High blood pressure increases the pressure exerted on the organ systems. Certain organs, such as the heart and kidneys, are very sensitive to high blood pressure. This increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and stroke. In particular, some common complications in pregnant women and fetuses are:first 3 6
Adverse effects on fetal development
Specifically, high blood pressure during pregnancy can reduce the flow of nutrients to the baby through the placenta. From there, leading to the appearance of bad problems affecting the development of the fetus. Such as fetal growth retardation in utero for gestational age, or worse, fetal distress, miscarriage, etc.
In particular, preeclampsia and eclampsia can be life-threatening for both mother and fetus. Because this condition can cause complications such as thrombocytopenia, abnormal bleeding, etc. All can cause serious complications, even death if not detected in time.
High blood pressure not only makes women worry about whether they have high blood pressure or not. It also puts pregnant women at risk of having a premature birth.
High blood pressure reduces blood flow to the placenta. So when the placenta is not supplied with enough nutrients and oxygen. It is easy to fall off and cause a pregnant woman to give birth prematurely. When born prematurely, due to not fully developed in the womb, it will lead to many defects and complications of the baby later.
Endocrine and nutritional disorders in gestational hypertension will affect the placenta. This causes the placenta to soon detach from the uterine wall. In this case, immediate emergency care is needed because placental abruption can cause dangerous complications. One of the most common conditions at this time is heavy bleeding, which can cause shock to the pregnant mother.
At present, the rate of caesarean section is increasing. Meanwhile, vaginal birth has more benefits for both mother and baby. Not only that, cesarean section also makes the postpartum period of pregnant women become heavy. Not to mention the increased risk of having bad conditions in the next pregnancy. Or having to deal with complications of a cesarean section such as infection, organ damage, and bleeding during surgery.
Can high blood pressure give birth naturally?
Pregnant women with gestational hypertension can give birth naturally. However, the choice of this method of birth depends on the health of both mother and baby. Because the key point in the selection is to balance the benefits and harms in the time of termination of pregnancy and the mode of delivery.7
If the health status of mother and baby are stable, the pregnancy can be maintained until full weeks for delivery. A cesarean section will be used if the health of the mother and baby is not enough to withstand the labor process. This decision must be made by the obstetrician after all factors have been considered.7
However, if the pregnancy has developed to 35 and 36 weeks, the mother’s cervix is ”prepared” there is still a chance for a normal delivery. And when deciding to give birth naturally, pregnant women during labor need to be closely and closely monitored.
The important thing that pregnant women need to do when experiencing gestational hypertension is: to have regular check-ups and self-monitoring. Specifically, pregnant women need to do the following:
- At the hospital: Do tests, measure obstetric monitoring, fetal Doppler ultrasound, guide fetal movement monitoring.
- At home: Monitor blood pressure twice a day (morning, afternoon) and record the measured parameters. In addition, it is also necessary to monitor weight, machine pregnancy and lie down completely, not working.
How to recognize high blood pressure in pregnancy?
Pregnant women should not worry too much about whether high blood pressure can give birth naturally. Instead, find the right treatment. For example, going to the doctor’s appointment for antenatal care. Because this is the best way to recognize gestational hypertension and intervene at the earliest.
Pregnant women also need to be aware that when you have gestational hypertension, you may or may not have symptoms. However, some signs of pregnancy to watch out for are:first 3
- Measure high blood pressure.
- Foamy urine.
- Swollen hands, feet, face.
- Rapid, sudden weight gain.
- Sudden vision changes, blurred vision.
- Nausea and vomiting a lot.
- Too much or too little urine.
- Sudden numbness in the face, numbness in hands and feet, difficulty speaking.
- Frequent headaches and dizziness.
The proportion of people with high blood pressure but no symptoms is relatively high. Meanwhile, the above symptoms easily overlap with other diseases. Therefore, pregnant women need to focus on taking care of and monitoring their body as well as seeing a doctor for timely detection.
Methods to control blood pressure during pregnancy
Drug treatmentfirst 3
When gestational hypertension is diagnosed and indicated. All pregnant women need medication to control blood pressure. And the drug chosen must be effective and safe for both mother and baby. Because some high blood pressure pills can adversely affect the baby. Therefore, patients should not buy self-medication, but should consult a doctor for a prescription.
Non-drug treatmentfirst 3
In addition to the prescribed medication method to stabilize blood pressure. At the same time reduce the worry about high blood pressure having a normal delivery. Building healthy living habits is also a way that can help pregnant women control blood pressure. Specifically, women with high blood pressure should:
- Use a salt-restricted diet. Do not add a lot of fish sauce and salt to food. Limit eating junk food, salted food, fast food, canned food. Eat a variety of foods, diversify your diet, especially green vegetables.
- Gentle exercise is also very good for pregnant women. Pregnant women should not exercise too much. However, it should not be too static because it will easily lead to rapid weight gain, obesity, large pregnancy, etc.
- Limit stress, anxiety and can relax by listening to music, reading books, etc.
- Do not use stimulants. Do not drink alcohol.
Hope the above article has helped you answer your question Can high blood pressure give birth naturally?. As mentioned, high blood pressure directly affects decisions during pregnancy, including the method of delivery. Therefore, to know whether high blood pressure can have a normal birth does not depend on many factors. In particular, on-time antenatal care, self-monitoring of health and building a healthy lifestyle play an important role in protecting the health of both mother and baby.
John Alen was born in 1971 and is a doctor in the healthcare and psychology fields with many years of experience. He is currently working at easyhealthylive.com, a leading health and psychology blog. Having studied at Y1 National Medical University named after IM Sechenov, John Alen is using his knowledge and experience to help improve the physical and mental health of people in the United States.