For the second time in three years, I found myself as a support coach at the bedside of a family member during an emergency caesarean section, secondary to pregnancy induced hypertension.
Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH) also known as Gestational hypertension is a condition which occurs during pregnancy where blood pressure levels are dangerously high. In more complicated cases the symptoms also include severe swelling , and protein in the urine which can lead to pre-eclampsia or toxemia which can be fatal for both baby and mother.
PIH has the highest rate among black women. Most fatalities of mother and baby due to PIH are also the highest among the African American community:
While there is no sure way to absolutely prevent pregnancy induced hypertension, some contributing factors to high blood pressure can be controlled. Attend early prenatal care appointments, maintain a healthy diet, and exercise. Some practical tips also include:
Thankfully my family members are ok, however with education and self care women in the African American community can avoid potential tragedy.
National Institutes of Health