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when will thewy take the baby if the mothers blood presure in high

By Anonymous December 8, 2008 - 4:41pm
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Anon, this is such a good question, and the answer would change in any individual case. Let's talk a little about high blood pressure in pregnancy first.

High blood pressure problems occur in 6 to 8 percent of all pregnancies in the United States, and about 70% of the cases are first-time pregnancies. Some women who have high blood pressure in pregnancy do have healthy babies without problems. In others, however, high blood pressure (also called hypertension) can be dangerous for both mom and baby. And if you have it before before you are pregnant, you are more likely to have some problems during pregnancy.

If left untreated, high blood pressure can hurt the mother's kidneys or other organs, and can cause low birth weight and premature delivery. In the most serious cases, the mother can develop pre-eclampsia (toxemia of pregnancy), and the only way to cure pre-eclampsia is to deliver the baby. In some cases this happens weeks before the due date.

Here is the National Heart Lung & Blood Institute's page on high blood pressure during pregnancy:


If you are pregnant and have high blood pressure, prenatal care is a must. By monitoring diet, exercise and/or medication, the doctor can track your progress and your baby's progress in greater detail.

How does high blood pressure affect a pregnancy? It can decrease blood flow to the placenta, which can disrupt the baby's supply of oxygen and nutrients. This is what can slow his or her growth. Hypertension also increases the risk of placental abruption, where the placenta separates from the uterus.

There are three kinds of high blood pressure during pregnancy. Here is how the Mayo Clinic explains them:

"Chronic hypertension. If high blood pressure develops before 20 weeks of pregnancy or lasts more than 12 weeks after delivery, it's known as chronic hypertension. Often, chronic hypertension was present — but not detected — before pregnancy.

"Gestational hypertension. If high blood pressure develops after 20 weeks of pregnancy, it's known as gestational hypertension. Although it usually goes away after delivery, gestational hypertension may increase the risk of developing chronic high blood pressure in the future.

"Preeclampsia. Sometimes chronic hypertension or gestational hypertension leads to preeclampsia, a serious condition characterized by increased blood pressure and protein in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Left untreated, preeclampsia can lead to serious — even fatal — complications for both mother and baby."

Here are the symptoms of pre-eclampsia:

--Severe headaches
--Changes in vision, including temporary loss of vision, blurred vision or light sensitivity
--Upper abdominal pain, usually under the ribs on the right side
--Nausea or vomiting
--Decreased urine output
--Sudden weight gain, typically more than 2 pounds a week, with more swelling or puffiness than is normal

Sometimes bed rest is prescribed for pregnant women with pre-eclampsia. Early delivery, either through induction or C-section, is possible. Depending on your health and your baby's health, your doctor may want to induce a few weeks before your due date to avoid complications. If you develop preeclampsia, it might need to be even earlier. Patients with severe preeclampsia are sometimes given medicine during labor to help prevent seizures, which might make a C-section necessary. Depending on the age of the baby, you may be given an injection of steroids to help mature his or her lungs before birth.

Here's the Mayo Clinic page:


The March of Dimes website discusses this in terms of timeline:

"If a woman develops mild preeclampsia before her 37th week, her provider usually recommends that she reduce her activities. In some cases, hospitalization may be recommended, though most women are able to stay at home. The baby’s well-being can be closely monitored with tests, such as ultrasound and fetal heart rate monitoring. Blood tests usually are recommended for the pregnant woman to see if the preeclampsia is progressing and harming her health.
"Women with severe preeclampsia are hospitalized. The health care provider usually recommends inducing labor if the woman is beyond about 34 weeks gestation (3). At this stage of pregnancy, the risk of prematurity may be outweighed by the risk of serious complications, including eclampsia. Before inducing labor, providers generally treat women who are at less than 34 weeks gestation with a drug called a corticosteroid that helps speed maturity of the fetal lungs. A woman who develops severe preeclampsia at less than 34 weeks gestation sometimes can be monitored closely in the hospital."

Here's the March of Dimes site:


Can you tell us more about your situation? Are you pregnant and have been diagnosed with high blood pressure? How far along are you, and what have your doctors told you?

December 9, 2008 - 9:50am
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