By Jen A. Miller
When a new mother with high blood pressure is sent home with her newborn, she leaves the hospital with instructions to return—or visit her doctor—for a blood pressure check within the first 72 hours after discharge from the hospital. And she must repeat that visit seven to 10 days later.
Some pregnant women have high blood pressure, or hypertension, at the time of conception; others may develop it during pregnancy as a symptom of preeclampsia or eclampsia. In any case, it’s vital for these women to continue to monitor blood pressure after labor and delivery. Left unchecked, high blood pressure can cause headache, fluid retention and nausea, as well as organ damage, stroke and worse. Worldwide, hypertension is the second leading cause of maternal mortality, according to the World Health Organization.