Effect of high blood pressure on the baby’s birth

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It is not impossible to have high blood pressure and still have a straightforward birth. However, the higher your blood pressure is, the more likely it is that your doctor will offer to start your labour artificially which is known as an induction.

Having an induction also depends on whether your high blood pressure is affecting your baby. Your doctor will discuss your case with you, mentioning any other complications, so that you can come to the right decision for you.
High blood pressure needs frequent monitoring during labour. If your high blood pressure is mild or moderate, you could have it measured hourly. If it is severe, it may need to be continuously monitored. If you are taking medication, it is necessary to carry on taking it during labour. Even so, it is perfectly possible to aim for a straightforward birth, as long as your high blood pressure is well controlled during labour. Your baby will be continuously monitored, though, to make sure he does not become distressed.

Some pregnant women whose severe high blood pressure does not respond to treatment may be offered an assisted birth. This means a doctor helps your baby to be born using instruments that attach to your baby’s head. This can speed up the second stage of labour.
In some circumstances, where speed is of the essence, you may be offered a caesarean section.

Post delivery management of High blood

Pressure Your blood pressure will be monitored at least daily for the first two days after your baby’s birth. It will then be checked at least once three days to five days after the birth.
If your blood pressure was normal before you became pregnant, it will most likely return to normal within a few weeks of your baby’s birth. It’s worth being aware that you’re more likely to develop high blood pressure in a future pregnancy, and later in life.
If it does not return to normal then it is unlikely you had gestational hypertension. What you have is essential chronic hypertension. This means your blood pressure will carry on being high after your baby is born. If that is the case, your doctor will probably advise you to keep taking medication to ensure your blood pressure stays at a healthy level.

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In most cases, your midwife will advise you about when you need to make an appointment with your doctor to review your medication. This will happen before your six-week postnatal check-up. Rest assured if you are breastfeeding, there are many medications for high blood pressure that are also safe for your baby.

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