Gestational hypertension, also known as pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), is a silent threat to pregnant women and their unborn babies. It can cause serious complications for both mother and baby if left untreated. The good news is that gestational hypertension can be managed with proper medical care and lifestyle modifications.
Gestational hypertension occurs when blood pressure rises after the 20th week of pregnancy or during labor, delivery, or postpartum period in women who had normal blood pressure before becoming pregnant. It affects about 5-10% of all pregnancies in the United States each year, making it one of the most common complications associated with childbirth.
The exact cause of gestational hypertension is unknown but certain risk factors increase its likelihood including obesity; diabetes; family history; multiple pregnancies; smoking during pregnancy; advanced maternal age (over 35); pre-existing high blood pressure before conception or early onset preeclampsia/eclampsia (a complication characterized by high protein levels in urine). In addition, some studies suggest that stress may play a role in increasing risk as well although this has yet to be proven.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of developing PIH such as maintaining an ideal weight throughout your pregnancy through healthy eating habits and regular exercise under doctor’s supervision if necessary. Additionally, reducing stress levels by taking time out from work commitments, getting adequate restful sleep every night, and avoiding exposure to too many toxins like cigarette smoke, etc., will go a long way towards helping manage any potential risks. Lastly, make sure you keep up with routine checkups so your doctor can monitor any changes closely.
If you do develop signs and symptoms such as sudden weight gain; swelling particularly around the face hands & feet; frequent headaches & vision disturbances then seek medical attention immediately since these could indicate more serious conditions like preeclampsia which require immediate treatment intervention. Early diagnosis detection management goes a long way toward ensuring safe delivery for both mother and child alike!