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Pregnancy and High Blood Pressure: Questions for Your Doctor

Topic Overview

If you have high blood pressure before or after becoming pregnant, ask your doctor or nurse-midwife:

  • Whether you should change or continue to take your medicine for high blood pressure during pregnancy. Have this discussion before you become pregnant if at all possible. Some blood pressure medicines are dangerous during pregnancy and need to be changed to a medicine that is safe for the fetus. If your blood pressure can be controlled by adjusting your lifestyle, your doctor may recommend that you stop taking or reduce your medicine while you are pregnant.
  • How your treatment will be managed if you develop preeclampsia. Sometimes preeclampsia gets worse quickly. You may find it reassuring to know what may happen if your condition gets worse and you require more aggressive treatment.
  • How you can learn to measure your blood pressure and urine protein level at home. You may be able to monitor your condition effectively at home. Your blood pressure readings and urine protein measurements will provide important information about your condition to your doctor or nurse-midwife.
  • Whether there are hospitals near you that can care for a premature infant, such in those that have a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). It can be reassuring to know your options ahead of time, in case you deliver prematurely. If the nearest NICU is some distance from your home, you may want to make plans for how you would handle family and travel needs if your infant requires intensive care.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
William Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine
Last Revised November 5, 2012

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