Pregnancy is such a blissful time. We do, however know, that many, many things can go wrong or create a complicated health picture during those 9 special months. On the one hand, many women feel it's a time to throw caution to the wind and put up their feet - "no exercise demands on me!!" - and eat the kitchen sink - "If I can't eat everthing I want now, when can I??" The problem with that attitude is that you are:
(a) Not creating a healthy "living environment" for your growing fetus. What you are eating is transmitting to your growing baby and easily setting the stage, in this case, for an overweight infant or child with health issues down the road.
(b) You are putting yourself (and again, the baby by association) at risk for diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure), among other health problems.
A lot has been written about gestational diabetes, which is the development of diabetes during pregnancy, and it's aftermath, which is the reality that though the diabetes may seem to be resolved - you are actually a diabetic for life and it can re-appear at any time. Hypertension can also present dangers during the pregnancy - but a new study now reveals serious implications after the pregnancy is over.
Women who had hypertension during pregnancy are at increased risk for hypertension and stroke after they hit age 40. This is a piece of information that your doctor now needs to ask about. So all doctors who have female patients, particularly those over age 40 should ask, "did you ever get diagnosed with high blood pressure during any of your pregnancies?" That way they can be on alert, and monitoring very closely your weight, blood pressure readings, cholesterol profile and other key information that can be early warning to this heightened risk. And if you smoke - which potentially creates an even greater risk - it's crucial that your doctor know that high blood pressure pregnancy history.
Of course, you are the gatekeeper of your health. So, as a proactive patient, you need to offer information to your doctor, especially when his questions do not elicite all of your personal health facts. Tell your doctor about this study if you experienced high blood pressure while pregnant. The life you save...may be your own!!
Published On: December 04, 2008