We’re seeing a significant uptick in moms with PIH (Pregnancy Induced Hypertension) and preterm babies in the NICU. Our once healthy population of moms are now struggling with elevated blood pressure before delivery and after delivery, some long-term. In contrast, it used to be understood PIH would resolve after delivery, (pregnancy being the cause).
We’re also readmitting young mothers to the hospital for elevated blood pressure after being discharged, some requiring magnesium. The risk of untreated high blood pressure is significant and includes blood clots and stroke.
Despite this alarming trend, there appears to be no governing agency or interested party stepping up to evaluate the cause. Without research and statistics to correlate possible cause and effect, it becomes very difficult to practice preventative medicine.
The medical industry’s first line of response for PIH after birth is to give the antihypertensive medication, Labetalol. This medication is given IV for systolic blood pressure greater than or equal to 160 or diastolic blood pressure greater than or equal to 110 mm Hg. There is an algorithm that involves a sequence of steps including giving the medication, monitoring the blood pressure, and when to add a second drug.