Gestational Hypertension Specialist

Maternal Fetal Specialists -  - Maternal Fetal Medicine

Maternal Fetal Specialists

Maternal Fetal Medicine located in Fredericksburg, VA & Springfield, VA

Up to 7% of pregnant women may develop gestational hypertension during pregnancy, which increases the risk of pregnancy-related complications that affect you and your baby. Pushpinder Dhillon, MD, MS, FACOG, and the team at Maternal Fetal Specialists are experts in the diagnosis and management of gestational hypertension. To schedule a consultation, call one of the offices in Fredericksburg or Springfield, Virginia, to request an appointment today.

Gestational Hypertension Q & A

What is gestational hypertension?

Gestational hypertension, also called preeclampsia, is a health complication related to pregnancy. It usually affects women during the third trimester, though it can occur earlier. 

With gestational hypertension, your blood pressure is higher than normal and you have signs of damage to other organ systems, such as your liver or kidneys. When left untreated, gestational hypertension increases the risk of complications for you and your baby. 

Gestational hypertension often develops without any signs or symptoms. Your OB/GYN screens for gestational hypertension at each of your prenatal visits by checking your blood pressure and measuring protein levels in your urine. 

Who is at risk of developing gestational hypertension?

Gestational hypertension is a condition of pregnancy, and it resolves after you give birth to the baby. You may be at greater risk of developing this pregnancy-related complication if you:

  • Have a personal history of preeclampsia
  • Have preexisting hypertension
  • Have diabetes
  • Are age 35 or older
  • Are carrying twins or triplets

Early gestational hypertension requires expert care from the team at Maternal Fetal Specialists. In severe cases, the condition increases your risk of having a stroke or developing heart or kidney failure. It may also lead to poor fetal growth, premature birth, or stillbirth.

How is gestational hypertension treated?

The team at Maternal Fetal Specialists develops an individualized treatment plan for your gestational hypertension based on the severity of your condition.

If you have a mild case, the team schedules regular prenatal visits to monitor you and your baby. They also schedule weekly or twice weekly ultrasound testing to monitor fetal growth and perform nonstress tests and biophysical profiles to assess fetal well-being. 

The team may also prescribe medication and place you on bed rest. 

If your gestational hypertension is severe, the team may recommend hospitalization for closer monitoring of you and your baby. Early delivery may also be recommended to avoid complications.

How does preexisting hypertension affect pregnancy?

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects about 10% of pregnant women. The outcome of your pregnancy depends on the severity of your high blood pressure prior to your pregnancy. 

Pregnant women with preexisting hypertension are at greater risk of developing gestational hypertension, having poor fetal growth, and going into preterm labor. 

The team at Maternal Fetal Specialists provides expert care for pregnant women with preexisting hypertension to prevent complications and improve the health of both mother and baby. 

Management may include:

  • Early and ongoing lab work 
  • Ongoing blood pressure monitoring
  • Change in blood pressure medication, if needed
  • Frequent checks for gestational hypertension
  • Frequent ultrasound evaluations to monitor fetal growth
  • Weekly nonstress tests and biophysical profiles to monitor fetal well-being

The Maternal Fetal Specialists team recommends that women with preexisting hypertension have a complete physical exam prior to pregnancy.

For comprehensive care for your gestational hypertension from a team of experts, call Maternal Fetal Specialists or book an appointment online today.