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Management of blood pressure during pregnancy with diabetes

If you have diabetes and are pregnant, you should follow your blood pressure at home with self-measurements. A person with diabetes has a higher risk of blood pressure symptoms during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia).

During pregnancy, target value for blood pressure is below 140/90 mmHg. Of the non-medicinal treatments of blood pressure, the most important ones are avoidance of salt (sodium), salty food and liquorice as well as doing gentle exercise and sufficient rest.

Having diabetes includes a higher risk for high blood pressure as well as pre-eclampsia, a condition that causes high blood pressure symptoms during pregnancy. Previously, pre-eclampsia was called pregnancy toxaemia. It refers to sudden increase of the pregnancy related swelling, higher blood pressure and higher amount of protein in urine. Pre-eclampsia requires rest and medication at a hospital ward. Usually, it becomes necessary to artificially start the labour early. The risk of pre-eclampsia is particularly high in those women with diabetes who have impairments in their kidney functions already before pregnancy.

Due to the higher risk of pre-eclampsia in women with diabetes, a pregnant person with diabetes must start an aspirin tablet treatment of 100 mg per day from week 12 of pregnancy. The medication is continued until week 36.

Updated 19.1.2024