Hypertension- also known as high blood pressure- is common in women and can be especially dangerous for pregnant mothers and their unborn child.
According to the Office on Women’s Health, hypertension is considered having blood pressure above 140 over 90 mmHg. When this occurs long-term, it can damage your blood vessels and organs, such as the kidneys, heart, brain, and eyes.
While medication and some therapy can be used to treat hypertension, you can also do a few things to get your health under control.
- Stop smoking/using tobacco products
- Eat healthily
- Exercise at least 30 minutes a day and maintain a healthy weight
- Lower your sodium intake
- Cut or reduce alcohol in your diet
High Blood Pressure + Pregnancy
High blood pressure during pregnancy can develop and affect your health during and after pregnancy.
Pregnant women are diagnosed with preeclampsia, or toxemia, when protein is found in the urine and unexpected high blood pressure occurs. Often, women are at higher risk for high blood pressure and heart disease later on in life after pregnancy when diagnosed with this health problem.
Gestational high blood pressure
Sometimes referred to as pregnancy-induced hypertension, gestational high blood pressure goes away after pregnancy in women who do not typically have high blood pressure. It, too, can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease later in life. Gestational high blood pressure can develop into preeclampsia.
The SCCAA Community Actions Pathway HUB is an available resource for pregnant and new mothers in need of support, education, and community services. For more information on pregnancy complications, check out womanshealth.gov.