Hypertension During Pregnancy

Dr. Heather Jenkins, MD, family physician, discusses hypertension during pregnancy.

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Dr. Heather Jenkins, MD, family physician, discusses hypertension during pregnancy.
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Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Heather Jenkins, MD, CCFP

Duration: 1 minute, 30 seconds

Hypertension is really a big deal in pregnancy and in part thats because pregnancy represents a cardiovascular type of stress test for all women.

It's a real challenge metabolically and cardiovascularly to carry a baby to term. And if you have pre-existing hypertension, certainly we're going to watch your blood pressure very carefully during your pregnancy.

Also, for a small number of women, they actually develop hypertension, usually in the last part of your pregnancy. This can happen if you're a little bit older when you have your first baby and cetainly it's much more common when you're having your first baby anyways.

If you do develop pregnancy-induced hypertension your physician is going to require careful monitoring of your blood pressure and the health of your baby. Overall, your blood pressure is positively influenced by any positive changes you can make in your lifestyle.

For example, people are encouraged to engage in regular fitness. There are lots of specific classes for pregnancy-related exercises. However, just engaging in a regular walking program, if you're not already doing so or engaging in pool-based exercises, like swimming or aquafit, is really great in pregnancy. It's something you can do right up until you deliver, and it's really helpful, both for your body, your baby and your blood pressure.

If you have any concerns about this you can obviously talk to your doctor.

Presenter: Dr. Heather Jenkins, Family Doctor, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Family Doctor

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.