As blood travels around your body, delivering oxygen to your essential organs, it must pass through your circulatory system, made up of arteries and veins. Sometimes there are complications as a result of the artery becoming narrower, hence making it more difficult for the heart to pump blood around the body. Persistent high blood pressure often puts a strain on the walls of the arteries, eventually leading to a variety of health problems, some of which can be life-threatening. Therefore, high blood pressure, also called hypertension, can be well defined as a condition when the force of the blood that tries to push against the walls of the blood vessels is higher than normal, hence leading to high blood pressure.
Hypertension is an increasingly common problem during pregnancy, putting the mother and baby at high risk of a condition known as pre-eclampsia
. The most important thing for any expectant mother is to have a talk with a health professional concerning any hypertension problems. Proper treatment is needed during, before, and after pregnancy. By taking adequate control of high blood pressure, the baby and the mother are more likely to stay healthy.
Becoming aware of the causes of hypertension will help in managing it. In the case of expectant mothers, the increase in weight frequently increases the level of blood pressure. Breathing is often disrupted while sleeping, which further raises the blood pressure. An effective way of controlling hypertension is making sure you maintain a healthy weight
; losing just a few pounds can be hugely beneficial. One needs to maintain his or her weight to manage blood pressure.
Exercising regularly helps to cope with hypertension. Exercises often make you flexible and able to perform other duties much more easily. Losing just 2.2 pounds is equivalent to the reduction of your blood pressure by about 1 millimeter of mercury. There are other ways of managing hypertension, such as reducing sodium in your diet, limiting the amount of alcohol you drink, eating a healthy diet, and taking any high blood pressure medication
recommended by your doctor.
Causes of hypertension in pregnant women
Being overweight or obese: As weight increases, more blood is needed to supply nutrients and oxygen to the tissues. In this regard, there is an increase in the volume of blood in circulation through the blood vessels, hence bringing pressure on the walls of the artery. Therefore, pregnant women need to have the required standard weight before giving birth.
First-time pregnancy: Women experiencing their first pregnancy are most likely to experience hypertension. But there are lower chances of suffering from the condition in the subsequent pregnancies.
Carrying more than one child: Carrying multiple children increases the risk of a pregnant woman developing hypertension since the body is having to work so much harder to nourish more than one baby.
Age: The risk of developing high blood pressure increases with age. Particularly from the age of 35, the likelihood of developing hypertension is very high. Older women need to take care and should speak with their doctor if they already have high blood pressure when falling pregnant.
Not getting enough physical activity: Pregnant women are understandably less active during the final stages of pregnancy. But keeping active is an effective way to prevent high blood pressure, not to mention maintaining health in general. Pregnant women often find swimming to be an excellent form of exercise, as the buoyancy of the water helps to support the extra weight as well as keeping them cool.