High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

Blood pressure is a measure of how hard the blood pushes against the walls of the arteries. Blood pressure readings consist of an upper number and a lower number (such as 120 over 80, or 120/80). High blood pressure is an upper number of 140 or higher or a lower number of 90 or higher. Blood pressure is closely watched during pregnancy. High blood pressure can limit the baby's growth or cause other serious problems.

Some women have high blood pressure before they get pregnant (chronic high blood pressure). Others may develop very high blood pressure that starts in the second or third trimester (gestational hypertension). Sometimes high blood pressure is a first sign of preeclampsia. This condition is dangerous for both mother and baby.

Current as of: March 16, 2017

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology