High blood pressure in an expectant mother’s body can cause organ damage, affect the kidneys and even induce an early delivery. When hypertension is severe, the mother can develop a serious condition called preeclampsia or toxemia.
Preeclampsia can develop from 20 weeks of pregnancy and is diagnosed by a high blood pressure reading and protein in the urine, which is a sign of a kidney problem likely to be caused by the hypertension. The condition can affect the placenta and cause harm to the mother’s brain, kidneys and liver.
Preeclampsia can also go on to develop into eclampsia, which causes seizures and is the second most common cause of maternal death in the United States. It is also considered to be one of the leading causes of complications during pregnancy, such as stillbirth, premature delivery and low birth weight babies.
There is no way to prevent preeclampsia other than delivering the baby, but mothers who develop it are always monitored closely for signs of the condition progressing.
In the United States high blood pressure affects between 6 and 8 per cent of pregnancies and 70 per cent of cases occur in first time mothers. Women who had high blood pressure before falling pregnant and those who have suffered from preeclampsia or hypertension in previous pregnancies are also more likely to develop the condition. Women who were obese before falling pregnant and those who are carrying more than one baby also have a higher risk of developing it. Young mothers under the age of 20 and older mothers over the age of 40, also carry higher risks for the condition. Women who have pre-existing conditions like kidney disease, diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma have also been found to be at higher risk.
If you fit the risk profile or suspect that something is not right with your pregnancy, be sure to get medical treatment from low cost medical services in Las Vegas to look after yourself and your baby.