Patient Care

Hypertension and Other Medical Disorders in Pregnancy

What is Hypertension in Pregnancy?

Hypertensive women, on getting pregnant, are at risk of worsening Hypertension and therefore need to be on close follow up. Their anti-Hypertensive medication needs to be changed to the drugs that are safe during pregnancy. Long standing Hypertension may have affected the kidney function which may deteriorate further during the pregnancy.

Hence, assessment of kidney function at the beginning of pregnancy is important. The risk of complications is low in those with mild to moderate Hypertension; but those with severe Hypertension at an increased risk of complications like pre-eclampsia, placental abruption and intra-uterine growth restriction.

What is Anti-phospholipid Syndrome?

Anti-phospholipid Syndrome is a condition that affects the blood clotting mechanisms of the body making blood clot more easily. This is known to cause pregnancy complications like recurrent early pregnancy loss, late pregnancy loss, intra uterine growth restriction and pre-eclamsia. These patients are also at an increased risk of having deep vein thrombosis during pregnancy.

Pregnant patients known to have Anti-phospholipid Syndrome are co-managed by the obstetrician with a special interest in 'High Risk Pregnancy' and rheumatologists/haematologists.

What is Systemic Lupus Erythemayosus (SLE)

SLE is a chronic inflammatory disorder. It is known to affect skin, joints, kidneys, and other organs in the body.

Women with SLE have a higher risk of miscarriage. Women, who have badly affected kidneys, are at an increased risk of developing high blood pressure during pregnancy. Those with mild or well controlled disease at the beginning of pregnancy usually do not experience much problem during pregnancy. These patients are co-managed by the obstetrician with special interest in 'High Risk Pregancy' and a rheumatologist.

What are Birth Defects?

One in 30 babies born may suffer from a Birth Defect. This happens while the baby is still developing in the mother's womb, usually within the first three months of pregnancy.

The Birth Defect may affect how the baby looks, how the baby's body works, or both. Some Birth Defects are cosmetic for example a cleft lip, while others may affect the baby's inner organs such as the lungs in cystic fibrosis or the blood in thalassaemia.

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