by expert on call (297 Posts), Mon Jan 19, 2004 10:21 pm
Preeclampsia or hypertension in pregnancy are "cured" by delivery, but they usually get worse before they get better. As you mobilize the swelling in your feet and the rest of your body, this increased fluid in your blood stream will increase your blood pressure. As you get rid of the fluid, your blood pressure will get better. Sometimes a diuretic will hasten the process. A diuretic is safe to use post partum. It is important to reduce your blood pressure into a more normal range. This sometimes requires a combination of medications. Some that your doctor might use include: atenolol (slows your heart rate), furosemide, (gets rid of fluid), nifedipine (opens up constricted blood vessels). Some women will need to be re-admitted to the hospital.
You could be developing chronic hypertension. Many people inherit the tendency for chronic hypertension. Sometimes we see it for the first time during a pregnancy. You might need to be on medication longer than for a few weeks.
In a future pregnancy, you will be at risk to develop hypertension or preeclampsia. It is important to control your blood pressure before you get pregnant (if it does not resolve on its own). You should be followed as "at risk" for preeclampsia. Sometimes women are told that preeclampsia is just a disease of the first pregnancy. This is NOT true. The risk is usually not so high that a woman will choose not to have another child if she wants one. You should just be followed closely in another pregnancy.
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