High blood pressure in pregnancy

High blood pressure in pregnancy

The treatment you should be offered depends on what type of high blood pressure you have, and how high your blood pressure is.

Most women will not experience any problems with their blood pressure during pregnancy. However some women may have high blood pressure (hypertension) before they become pregnant or they may develop it during pregnancy. If this is the case, the treatment you should be offered depends on what type of high blood pressure you have, and how high your blood pressure is.

The NICE guideline looks at three types of high blood pressure, called chronic high blood pressure, gestational high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia (see Types of high blood pressure).

In each of these types the guideline also looks at three levels of high blood pressure, and calls them mild, moderate and severe (see below).

Mild, moderate and severe high blood pressure

  • Mild high blood pressure is defined as a reading between 140/90 and 149/99. It may be checked regularly but does not usually need treatment.

  • Moderate high blood pressure is defined as a reading between 150/100 and 159/109.

  • Severe high blood pressure is defined as a reading of 160/110 or higher.

Questions to ask your doctor

  • What do the blood pressure numbers mean?

  • How will I know if I have high blood pressure?

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