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Managing Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also known by the medical term “hypertension”, is very common. Some birthing people can develop high blood pressure during pregnancy, which can cause problems during and after delivery. The good news is that these problems can be prevented because high blood pressure can be managed and treated.

Explore this page to learn more about why
and how to monitor and manage blood
pressure. 

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Blood Pressure and Pregnancy

Basics

Blood pressure is the measure of force that your heart uses to pump blood around your body. In other words, it is how hard your heart has to work to make sure that all the parts of your body get the blood they need to function. The higher your blood pressure, the more risk you have for other health problems, including heart disease and stroke. In pregnancy, high blood pressure can be very dangerous to you and your baby.

Types of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

Chronic

High blood pressure present before pregnancy or occurring early in pregnancy

      

Gestational

High blood pressure during pregnancy (usually after 20 weeks) without signs of organ damage

Preeclampsia

High blood pressure during pregnancy (usually after 20 weeks) with signs of organ damage

Eclampsia

Severe complication of preeclampsia resulting in seizures (1 in every 200 women with preeclampsia)

High blood pressure before, during, and after pregnancy, also known as maternal hypertension, can be caused by a number of things, many of which are not in our control. The important thing here is that it is not your fault, and nobody can blame or judge you for it.

 

It is also important to pay attention to blood pressure and to get help treating it before it becomes serious. If untreated, high blood pressure during pregnancy can lead to:

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Management

Tips for Managing High Blood Pressure

The most important thing to know about high blood pressure is that it can be treated through regular management. Even if the causes might be beyond our control, some important ways of treating it are in our control. This means that there is not one solution, but a variety of solutions and things you can do to keep your blood pressure under control.

Resources
Below are resources that can help you manage, or prevent, high blood pressure. if you have symptoms of pre-eclampsia or eclampsia, call your provider or 911. 

Hypertension Resources

Home Visiting

Home visiting is a free program that will match you with a nurse, social worker, or educator who will help you manage any health concerns or reduce stress.

Home visiting is free and open to any  eligible pregnant woman in Baltimore City, no matter what insurance you have.

410-649-0500

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Nutrition

WIC provides free healthy foods, breastfeeding support, nutrition education, health screenings and referrals to health and social agencies to eligible pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and children up to age 5 years.

410-396-9427

Patient Advocate

All hospitals have a person or office who will make sure that patients are receiving quality care. This may be called a patient advocate, patient relations specialist, or an ombusdman.

If you are concerned about the treatment you are getting, call the clinic or hospital directory and ask for one. 

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