Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension- What to expect?

Pregnancy-induced hypertension occurs when there is a sudden increase in blood pressure after the 20th week of pregnancy. It poses several risks and complications for the baby. Know all about it and keep an eye out for any warning signs!

Johanitha Moraes
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Pregnancy induced hypertension

Photo taken from Canva Stock Images

Imagine eagerly anticipating the arrival of your little one, only to be met with unexpected complications during pregnancy. Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), also known as gestational hypertension, is a condition that can cast a shadow over this joyous time. For all the expectant mothers, they often have questions swirling in their minds, What causes PIH? What are the warning signs? And what are the long-term effects on pregnancy? 

Pregnancy induced hypertension
Photo taken from Canva Stock Images

What are the Causes of Pregnancy-induced hypertension?

Pregnancy-induced hypertension occurs when there is a sudden increase in blood pressure after the 20th week of pregnancy. While the exact cause is unknown, several factors may contribute to its development. These include genetics, maternal age (being over 40 or under 20), first pregnancy, obesity, multiple pregnancies (e.g., twins or triplets), and certain pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease.

  1. Genetics: A family history of hypertension or related conditions can increase the risk.

  2. Maternal Age: Women over 40 or under 20 are at higher risk.

  3. First Pregnancy: Women experiencing their first pregnancy have a higher likelihood.

  4. Obesity: Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing PIH.

  5. Multiple Pregnancies: Carrying twins or triplets can put additional strain on the body.

  6. Pre-existing Conditions: Diabetes, kidney disease, thyroid disorders or autoimmune disorders can contribute.

  7. Placental Issues: Problems with the placenta's development or function can lead to hypertension.

  8. Lifestyle Factors: An unhealthy diet, a sedentary lifestyle, and high stress levels can exacerbate the risk. Visit the Gytree Shop for nutrient-rich supplements that will boost your health and well-being. After all, the importance of adequate nutrition can never be emphasised more about. 

These factors can interact and vary in severity, influencing the likelihood of developing PIH during pregnancy. Regular prenatal care and lifestyle modifications can help manage the risk.

What are the Symptoms of Pregnancy-induced hypertension?

One of the challenges of PIH is that it often presents with subtle or nonspecific symptoms, making it difficult to detect without proper monitoring. However, some signs to watch out for include high blood pressure (140/90 mmHg or higher), swelling in the hands and face (oedema), sudden weight gain, headaches, visual disturbances (such as blurred vision or seeing spots), abdominal pain, and decreased urine output.

Gestational hypertension is defined per ACOG guidelines as blood pressure greater than or equal to 140mmHg systolic or 90mmHg diastolic on two separate occasions at least four hours apart after 20 weeks of pregnancy when previous blood pressure was normal.

Pregnancy induced hypertension
Photo taken from Canva Stock Images

What are its Long-term Effects?

Untreated or poorly managed pregnancy-induced hypertension can have serious consequences for both the mother and baby. Complications may include preeclampsia (a severe form of PIH characterized by organ damage), placental abruption (premature separation of the placenta from the uterus), fetal growth restriction, preterm birth, and even stillbirth. Additionally, women who experience PIH during pregnancy may be at higher risk of developing chronic hypertension later in life. Check out Gytree’s 12-month Pregnancy Support program that offers personalised guidance throughout your pregnancy and keep an eye on such developments. 

What is the Management and Treatment of PIH?

Early detection and proper management of pregnancy-induced hypertension are crucial for minimizing risks and ensuring a healthy outcome for both mother and baby. Treatment may involve close monitoring of blood pressure, dietary modifications (such as reducing sodium intake), bed rest or reduced activity, medications to lower blood pressure (if necessary), and timely delivery of the baby in severe cases. Regular prenatal check-ups and communication with healthcare providers are essential for detecting and managing PIH effectively. Consult our Gytree Experts if you seem to be experiencing any complaints.

Pregnancy-induced hypertension can be a daunting experience for expectant mothers. Still, with awareness, vigilance, and proper medical care, it is possible to navigate this challenge and safeguard the health and well-being of both mother and baby. By staying informed, seeking timely medical attention, and following recommended guidelines, mothers-to-be can better manage the risks associated with PIH and focus on the joyous journey of pregnancy.


Pregnancy Hypertension pregnancy-induced hypertension