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High blood pressure (hypertension) means that the force of blood against your artery walls is too strong.
High blood pressure problems during pregnancy include:
If your blood pressure becomes too high during pregnancy (140/90 mm Hg or higher) you may have a higher chance of complications.
High blood pressure during pregnancy can affect the amount of oxygen and nutrients your baby receives. This can affect how your baby grows. High blood pressure can also cause other serious problems for both you and your baby, such as placental abruption (part of the placenta separates from the wall of the uterus), preterm labour and birth, and stillbirth.
To prevent problems, you and your baby will be watched very closely. You will have to check your blood pressure often during pregnancy and at home after your baby is born.
If your blood pressure rises suddenly or is very high during your pregnancy, your healthcare provider may prescribe medicines. They can usually control blood pressure. Your healthcare provider will also watch your baby more closely. This may include more ultrasounds to monitor your baby’s growth and health.
If your blood pressure affects your health or your baby's health, your healthcare provider may need to deliver your baby early. After your baby is born, your blood pressure may improve. But sometimes blood pressure problems continue after birth.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your healthcare provider or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Share this information with your partner or a friend. They can help you watch for warning signs.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Seek urgent, immediate medical care at the hospital if:
Call your healthcare provider, midwife, or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your healthcare provider, midwife, or nurse call line if have you have any concerns.
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Adaptation Date: 8/2/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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