White Coat Hypertension & Other Blood Pressure Problems During Pregnancy | Scott Goodwin Law

White Coat Hypertension & Other Blood Pressure Problems During Pregnancy

by / Wednesday, 20 April 2022 / Published in Birth Trauma, Medical Malpractice
Mother smiles at happy baby.

White coat hypertension is a term given to elevated blood pressure that occurs when an expectant mother is in a doctor’s office, in the presence of people wearing white coats, resulting in blood pressure levels being higher than they normally are when measured at home. Since medical appointments can be stressful, it’s long been thought that the stress of being at a doctor’s office is what causes that sudden rise in blood pressure. But is this change in blood pressure really temporary or is it something to be worried about?

It’s difficult to know exactly how common white coat hypertension is or what its outcomes are. Data around white coat hypertension isn’t very consistently or thoroughly collected. In one study published in 2005, white coat syndrome occurred in 32% of pregnancies they looked at. However, many doctors believe that white coat hypertension can be an indicator of developing long-term issues with high blood pressure and developing other cardiovascular disorders. In terms of how it impacts pregnancy, in the 2005 study, half of patients had white coat hypertension throughout pregnancy but did not have any negative outcomes while 40% developed benign gestational hypertension and 8% developed proteinuric preeclampsia.

In any case, maternal blood pressure is something care providers need to carefully watch during pregnancy. If you believe you may be experiencing white coat hypertension, a doctor may recommend wearing a blood pressure monitor for a day so that they can get a better idea of what your blood pressure levels are like throughout the day. It’s also important to watch for signs of blood pressure conditions that can occur during pregnancy, such as gestational hypertension or preeclampsia, which could be harmful to both the mother and the baby. 

Problems with blood pressure during pregnancy can potentially result in problems like placental abruption, restricted fetal growth, premature birth, and reduced blood flow to the placenta, as well as damage to organs. 

Contact a Michigan Birth Trauma Lawyer

If you experienced problems with hypertension during pregnancy and you or your child was harmed as a result, contact a birth trauma lawyer as soon as possible. It’s possible that your doctor could have done more to monitor and control your condition. Talking to a lawyer will give you a chance to get answers to any questions you have and help you learn about what legal options you have. Very often, birth trauma is the result of medical malpractice and at Goodwin & Scieszka, we’re experienced in handling both birth trauma and medical malpractice cases in the state of Michigan. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.