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What’s the deal with blood pressure during pregnancy?

pregnant woman in a doctor's appointment

Blood pressure is one of those things that it’s important to keep track of when you’re pregnant. Your doctor should be checking it on every appointment. During pregnancy, it’s super important to keep it under control so your baby can have a healthy development. If you have high blood pressure during pregnancy, it can become preeclampsia, which is a serious complication that can affect both your and your baby. Approximately 2% to 8% of pregnant women experience it. It’s more common if it’s your first pregnancy or if you’re under 20 or over 35 years old.

Generally, preeclampsia appears after week 20, but sometimes it can occur either later or earlier, and during, or after childbirth. Preeclampsia can vary from mild to severe, and in some cases, it can worsen over time.


Preeclampsia is more risky when it presents in the early weeks of pregnancy, because it causes your blood vessels to constrict, and can lead to hypertension and organ damage. Some symptoms you may have include vomiting, vision problems, and swelling in the face, hands, or feet. If you experience any of these, it’s important to consult your doctor for evaluation right away.

One of the most important things you can do is to maintain a healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables are key, and it’s also good to engage in regular moderate exercise. Exercise helps you maintain balance. Remember to see your doctor if you notice anything out of the ordinary. If you were told you have preeclampsia, don’t panic. Follow your doctor’s instructions, stick to your treatment, and try not to worry. You’ll have your baby in your arms very soon. Stay positive!

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