Several families have asked me how high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) can affect their plan to have a baby. When a person has higher than normal blood pressure for a long period of time, it is known as chronic hypertension.
Planning the best time to have a baby can be different for each person. I usually start off by asking about their reproductive life plan since everyone has their own set of circumstances and goals including lifestyle, relationships, physical and mental health. It’s important to talk with your health care provider to manage health conditions before pregnancy.
When an individual has high blood pressure before pregnancy, it may cause problems during pregnancy.
How can hypertension affect pregnancy?
It may increase the risk of:
- Pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy)
- Preterm births
- Slow fetal growth
- Low birth weight
If you’re planning a pregnancy and have chronic hypertension, what can you do?
- Visit your health care provider regularly and ask about medications that are safe during pregnancy.
- Eat healthy. Eat less dietary salts and unhealthy fats.
- Be physically active (150 minutes of moderate activity per week)
- If you are not planning for a baby, discuss birth control options. 50% of pregnancies are unplanned.
Managing your blood pressure can help you be as healthy as possible before you conceive and optimize your future baby’s health.
For more information, connect with a Public Health Nurse on our e-Chat or call (416) 338–7600.