What is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure happens when the pressure needed to move blood through your body rises above normal. For most pregnant women, a reading less than 120/80 is considered normal. A reading of 140/90 or greater is considered to be high blood pressure.

There are two main types of high blood pressure during pregnancy:

  1. Pre-existing (chronic) hypertension: the woman has high blood pressure before pregnancy or it develops before 20 weeks.
  2. Gestational hypertension: new high blood pressure that develops after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Both of these types of high blood pressure can progress or worsen to become pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure with new or worsening protein in the urine and/or other changes in health).

Will I have high blood pressure after my baby is born?

High blood pressure that develops during pregnancy usually returns to normal within a few days after delivery. In some cases, high blood pressure lasts up to six weeks after delivery or can become a long-term condition. You may need to continue monitoring your blood pressure, and see your doctor soon after the birth to minimize the effects of hypertension.

The AHCP offers continued follow up of your blood pressure up until 14 days post-delivery.

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