The Risks associated with Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension


“Your blood pressure has risen abnormally madam Abigail, we would need to conduct some more tests to ascertain why”, Dr Bakare announced. The next few minutes seemed the longest Abigail has ever known in her entire life as she waited for her test results. “O God, let this not be serious”, she prayed.

“Hmmm”, her Doctor whistled as he came into the consultancy room, with Abigail’s test result in his hands. “You were reluctant to run a scan initially madam, but the scan you just did has sure helped in streamlining the cause of your High blood pressure”. He stated. “You have a set of twins growing in you, and that is the cause of the rise in your blood pressure”, he further explained. “Madam, you have a condition called ‘Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension -PIH‘, and it was triggered by your set of twins. There is no cause for alarm, you are in good hands”. He smiled reassuringly.

Abigail sat with her mouth agape, not knowing whether to rejoice over the news of being pregnant with a set of twins or to start crying on the diagnosis of having hypertension triggered by them. “What if Doctor Bakare is just trying to cool my nerves, what if this PIH is more serious than he is revealing?”, she worried.

Pregnancy-induced hypertension also referred to as gestational hypertension could be ignited by one or more factors in gestational mothers, knowing your chances of having pregnancy-induced hypertension could go a long way to better prepare an expectant mother and free you of unnecessary worries.

FAQ’s
Question: Is every pregnant mom at risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension?
Answer:No
Question: What are risk factors?
Answer:These refers to conditions that increases ones chances of having a disease.
The possibility of PIH (gestational Hypertension) may be high in the following category of people
i) Women suffering from high blood pressure.
ii)Women suffering from kidney disease before pregnancy
iii)Women with family history of hypertension
iv)Women who are getting pregnant for the first time
v) Pregnant women carrying multiple babies
vi)Women who are younger than 20 years or older than 40 years of age
Note: It is also important to state as well that, you may not have any of these risk factors and still have PIH, the chances of having PIH is just higher in those with the risk factors listed above.
Detecting Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension
Pregnancy-induced hypertension is usually detected through one or a combination of several tests that
is conducted on the pregnant mom by her healthcare provider during her regular antenatal care. The routine tests often include blood pressure, urine level, blood test and kidney test. Others are ultrasound to check the baby’s growth and Doppler scan to check blood supply to the placenta.

No Pregnant mom should undermine antenatal care as it helps ascertain your condition and that of your unborn baby, and failure to regularly carry out these antenatal poses a risk both to you and the baby. After every antenatal, it is important you insist on knowing the results of the tests conducted. As a matter of fact, it is your right to know. Hence,ask your Health Service Provider for the result of any tests conducted on you.

How is Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension Treated?
Treatment would depend on how old the pregnancy is. If the baby is developed enough or the mother is close to her due date, her healthcare provider may encourage her to have the baby as quickly as possible in order to reduce or prevent possible complications.

This may be through induced labour or caesarian section. If the hypertension is very serious and the mother is far from her due date,she may be placed on appropriate hypertension drugs by her doctor until the baby is developed enough for safe delivery

However, if the high blood pressure is not serious and the pregnancy is far from due date, the healthcare provider may recommend that the mother does the following:
-Increase her prenatal checkups
-Reduce her salt intake
-Have adequate rest by lying on her left side in order to take the weight of the baby off her major
blood vessel.
-Drink plenty water-at least 8 glasses of water everyday.

Feel free to drop a comment or question.
You can find variety of Specialists Health Care Service providers for counselling on the Med Switch Health Connect.

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