1 out of 5 pregnant women in Nigeria suffer from hypertension. The force or pressure of blood pressing against blood vessel walls is measured as blood pressure. When you have hypertension (high blood pressure), the pressure exerted on the blood vessel fences is more significant than what is considered normal.
When you are pregnant, hypertension (high blood pressure) has distinct effects on your body. Because it must pump far more blood during pregnancy, your heart needs to work harder. Your body is put under more strain as a result.
Additionally, high blood pressure might impact the placenta's growth and operation. This implies that the fetus cannot receive the nutrients it requires to grow normally.
If you have hypertension (high blood pressure), you have a greater chance of experiencing difficulties before birth, during labor, and after the delivery of your baby.
5 Causes of Hypertension Among Pregnant Women in Nigeria
It is unclear what causes pregnancy-related hypertension explicitly. Your risk of developing hypertension may be increased by several conditions or factors, such as:
- 1. Being Overweight: This puts additional stress on your heart, raising your risk for high blood pressure and blood vessel damage, which pose serious health risks. Obese women are more likely to experience hypertension (high blood pressure) during pregnancy. If your BMI( Basal Metabolic Index) is 40 or higher, there is a higher risk of complications during labor and delivery.
- 2. Type of pregnancy: A first-time mom is likely to have a higher blood pressure than any other woman. Fortunately, the likelihood of this condition developing in subsequent pregnancies is reduced. Pregnancy with multiples can increase a woman's risk of developing hypertension because her body is forced to work harder to support more than one baby. Utilizing assistive technologies (like IVF) during the conception process increases the risk of high blood pressure in pregnant women.
- 3. Age: Age can also play a role. Women over 35 who are pregnant are more at risk. Previous research has shown that the risk of gestational hypertension is 1.22 times higher in mothers who are 35–39 years old and 1.63 times higher in mothers who are 40–44 years old than in mothers who are 25–29 years old.
- 4. Lack of Physical Exercise: The cardiovascular system goes through significant changes during pregnancy, including increased blood volume and cardiac output due to the rise in the size of the right and left heart chambers. The risk of developing hypertensive diseases may be reduced by exercise during pregnancy, which also benefits the cardiovascular system.
- 5. Stress: When you're under stress, your body increases hormones. By making your heart beat quicker, and your blood arteries constrict (tighten), these hormones temporarily raise your blood pressure. High blood pressure during pregnancy may be caused by stress. You run the risk of developing preeclampsia, a hazardous high blood pressure disease, giving delivery too soon, and having an underweight baby. Stress may also influence how you react to specific circumstances.
Preventing Hypertension During Pregnancy
Obesity is one common risk factor for high blood pressure that can be reduced with diet and exercise.
It is typical to put on a little weight when pregnant. If you're worried, discuss a goal weight increase with your doctor and techniques to keep within a healthy range.
Pregnancy diet recommendations differ from person to person. A nutritionist may assist in putting together a food plan tailored to your particular height and weight.
Hormone changes, as well as psychological and physical changes, are brought on by pregnancy. Stress can result from this, making it more difficult to control high blood pressure. Try relaxing activities like yoga and meditation.
Untreated high blood pressure during pregnancy poses a severe risk to the mother and the unborn child. Generally speaking, diligent observation and a few lifestyle modifications can reduce your chance of experiencing consequences from high blood pressure.
If you still have questions about hypertension during pregnancy, feel free to ask in the comments below. We would be happy to help you out.
Don't forget to like, share and come back for more exciting content to make your pregnancy journey much easier!