Pregnancy related Hypertensive Disorder usually occurs after 20 weeks of Gestation..
It is commonly associated with seizures, swelling and if left untreated it can also lead to death.
Hypertensive Disorders in Pregnancy may cause an increase in maternal and Fetal Morbidity and continue to remain a leading cause of maternal mortality.
The common signs and symptoms that need to be looked out for are Frequent headaches and blurry vision, Swelling of face, hands and feet, sudden weight gain and decrease in baby’s movements during the third trimester.
Management of Pregnancy induced hypertension:
- Treatment focuses on controlling blood pressure and preventing convulsions
- Good nutritive & prenatal care : DASH diet, high first class protein, increased omega-3 FA, antioxidants
- Bed rest : adequate rest may prevent PIH or limit the severity
- Magnesium sulfate (muscle relaxant, prevents seizures i.e. anti-convulsant)
- Low dose aspirin - other possible treatment method with varying effectiveness.
- Calcium supplementation may reduce the incidence in some women
- The best treatment of PIH is the delivery of the child, which also means the delivery of the placenta.
Dietary Management of PIH includes:
- Optimal nutrition is a fundamental aspect of the therapy.
- Emphasis is on adequate dietary protein eg. Pulses, chicken, meat, fish, egg, milk and milk products, legumes etc.
- Salt intake should be monitored. ( about 2g/day)
- Vitamin supplementation – vitamin A , vitamin C , vitamin E , Vitamin D, folic acid and other b-complex vitamins. Eg. Fruits – papaya, watermelon, oranges, kiwi, gooseberry, dates, lemons, strawberry etc. Vegetables – mint, cabbage, coriander, potato, carrot, tomatoes, brinjal, beans, capsicum, etc. Nuts – almonds, raisins, walnuts etc.
- Mineral supplementation- Calcium, Magnesium and magnesium sulphate, potassium. Eg. Ragi, cheese, banana, GLV, soybean, cereals, millets, oranges, etc.
- Omega- 3 fatty acid intake. eg. Flaxseed oil, canola oil, tuna, mackerel, salmon, walnuts, etc. Drink 8 glasses of water a day.
- The amount of green leafy vegetables needs to be monitored for salt intake.
- DASH(Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) diet should be followed for controlling the blood pressure.
Lifestyle management includes:
- Bed Rest
- Mild exercises / yoga as per the physician’s recommendation
- Lying on the left side to take the weight of the baby off the major blood vessels. • Increased and frequent prenatal checkups.
- Avoiding alcohol and tobacco.
- Consult the doctor about any over-the counter medications.