This guideline covers diagnosing and managing hypertension (high blood pressure), including pre-eclampsia, during pregnancy, labour and birth. It also includes advice for women with hypertension who wish to conceive and women who have had a pregnancy complicated by hypertension. It aims to improve care during pregnancy, labour and birth for women and their babies.

In January 2011, a correction was made to recommendation 1.2.1.1 on the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs).

Recommendations

This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • Healthcare professionals
  • Women who develop hypertension during pregnancy, women who have hypertension and wish to conceive, and women who have had a pregnancy complicated by hypertension

Is this guideline up to date?

We checked this guideline in January 2017 and we are updating the recommendations on:

  • management of pregnancy with chronic hypertension
  • management of pregnancy with gestational hypertension
  • management of pregnancy with pre-eclampsia
  • breastfeeding
  • advice and follow-up care at transfer to community care 

See the guideline in development page for progress on the update. 

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)