If you have high blood pressure, your doctor will closely monitor you and your baby and provide special care to lower the chance of complications. You may need to:
- Check your blood pressure at home. Visit Measure Your Blood Pressure for more information.
- Keep track of how many times you feel the baby kicking each day.
- Limit your physical activity. Talk to your doctor about what level of physical activity is right for you.
- Take medicine to control your blood pressure. If you do, talk to your doctor about which medicines are safe for your baby. These medicines may include calcium-channel blockers (nifedipine), taken by mouth, or beta blockers (labetalol) or vasodilators (hydralazine), given through an IV.
- Take aspirin in the second trimester, if you are at risk of preeclampsia and your doctor recommends aspirin.
- Visit your doctor more often to monitor your condition and your baby’s growth rate and heart rate. He or she may order blood and urine tests to check how well your organs are working, which can help detect preeclampsia.
If your doctor is concerned about you or your baby’s health, they may recommend that you deliver your baby before 39 weeks. You may need to stay in the hospital to get medicine that will help your baby’s lungs develop faster and to be monitored before and after you deliver your baby.
Research for Your Health
The NHLBI is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health (NIH)-the Nation’s biomedical research agency that makes important scientific discovery to improve health and save lives. We are committed to advancing science and translating discoveries into clinical practice to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders, including high blood pressure. Learn about the current and future NHLBI efforts to improve health through research and scientific discovery.
Improving health with current research
Learn about the following ways in which we continue to translate current research and science into improved health for people who have high blood pressure. Research on this topic is part of our broader commitment to advancing scientific discovery in heart and vascular disease and health disparities and inequities research.
- Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial (ALLHAT). This NHLBI study began in 1994 and lasted eight years. People who had high blood pressure enrolled in one part of the study and people who had high blood cholesterol enrolled in another part of the study. ALLHAT’s findings have informed how we treat high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol. Visit Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial for more information about all research activities and advances from this study.
- NHLBI Expert Panel on Cardiovascular Health and Risk Reduction in Children and Adolescents. We have supported the development of guidelines based on up-to-date research to evaluate and manage risk of heart disease in children and adolescents, including high blood pressure. Visit Expert Panel on Integrated Guidelines for Cardiovascular Health and Risk Reduction in Children and Adolescents for more information.
- Workshops on Predicting, Preventing, and Treating Preeclampsia. Working with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), we periodically convene experts to discuss priorities in preeclampsia research. Experts invited in 2010 and 2018 helped identify priorities for future research that could help improve understanding of when and how preeclampsia develops and find better ways to detect and treat it. Visit NHLBI Workshop Predicting, Preventing and Treating Preeclampsia – Executive Summary for more information.