Late term high blood pressure

Patient

Q: My 19 year old daughter is due to give birth any day. She is experiencing a lot of swelling in her legs. She has always had normal blood pressure but it is now 136 over 93. Should she be concerned

Doctor

A:   I do understand your concern for your daughter's blood pressure. Although many pregnant women with high blood pressure have healthy babies without serious problems, high blood pressure can be dangerous for both the mother and the fetus. Blood pressure is high if the top number is more than 140 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), or if the bottom number is more than 90 mm Hg. The effects of high blood pressure range from mild to severe. High blood pressure can harm the mother's kidneys and other organs, and it can cause low birth weight and early delivery. In the most serious cases, the mother develops preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a condition that typically starts after the 20th week of pregnancy and is related to increased blood pressure and protein in the mother's urine (as a result of kidney problems). Preeclampsia affects the placenta, and it can affect the mother's kidney, liver, and brain. I would suggest that your daughter consult her doctor for more details. In most cases blood pressure return to normal after delivery. Though I would suggest that your daughter see her doctor for further evaluation. I wish your daughter well, I hope this helps.

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