This site is intended for healthcare professionals
Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy
Hypertensive disorders during pregnancy affect around 8% to 10% of all pregnant women and can be associated with substantial complications for the woman and the baby
During pregnancy hypertension is defined as:
Women with essential hypertension who become pregnant are at increased risk of
Occasionally secondary hypertension due to known causes (e.g. - endocrine tumors, renal artery stenosis, and renal disease) may occur in pregnancy.
Chronic Hypertension in pregnancy:
Existing antihypertensive treatment should be continued if safe in pregnancy, or switch to an alternative treatment, unless:
Offer antihypertensive treatment to pregnant women who have chronic hypertension and who are not already on treatment if they have:
When using medicines to treat hypertension in pregnancy, aim for a target blood pressure of 135/85mmHg
Labetalol should be considered as initial treatment for chronic hypertension in pregnant women
Offer pregnant women with chronic hypertension aspirin 75-150 mg once daily from 12 weeks.
Offer placental growth factor (PlGF)-based testing to help rule out preeclampsia between 20 weeks and up to 35 weeks of pregnancy, if women with chronic hypertension are suspected of developing pre-eclampsia.
In women with chronic hypertension, schedule additional antenatal appointments based on the individual needs of the woman and her baby. This may include:
Timing of birth
Do not offer planned early birth before 37 weeks to women with chronic hypertension whose blood pressure is lower than 160/110 mmHg, with or without antihypertensive treatment, unless there are other medical indications
In women with chronic hypertension who have given birth:
if a woman has taken methyldopa to treat chronic hypertension during pregnancy, stop within 2 days after the birth and change to an alternative antihypertensive treatment
Women with chronic hypertension should be offered a medical review 6-8 weeks after the birth with their GP or specialist as appropriate.