Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is usually defined as 140/90 or above. Prehypertension is defined as a systolic (top number) of at least 120 on two separate occasions or a diastolic of 80 or more, again on two separate occasions. High readings during pregnancy can be dangerous for mothers and their baby, as can Gestational diabetes. Scientists at Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena, USA, and Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, USA, looked at prehypertension during pregnancy. Their goal was to learn whether slightly high readings before or early in pregnancy, could be linked with hypertension and Gestational diabetes. Their study, published in the Journal of Hypertension in June, 2015, included 7,802 women delivering their baby at Kaiser Permanente Hospital between the years 2005 and 2010. It was found women who had prehypertension before or during early pregnancy, were 2.65 times more likely to develop hypertension during pregnancy than were the expectant woman with normal readings. They were 2.17 times more likely to develop preeclampsia or eclampsia, a condition in which expectant mothers have convulsions, and 20 percent more likely to develop Gestational diabetes, compared to patients with normal blood pressure readings. From these results it was concluded there is a need for more screening for early blood pressure elevations and interventions to prevent pregnancy-related hypertension and Gestational diabetes. High blood pressure readings are a common complication of pregnancy. Two to three percent of pregnancies are troubled by the condition. When hypertension is accompanied by swollen ankles and protein in the urine, preeclampsia is diagnosed. The condition can lead to eclampsia, or convulsions, and delivery becomes immediately necessary... the placenta can break away early: a dangerous condition requiring surgery. fetal growth can be restricted. mothers diagnosed with high blood pressure readings during pregnancy are at risk for further high readings later in life. To prevent hypertension... it is best to attain normal weight before pregnancy and gain only the recommended amount during the pregnancy. a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables not only helps prevent too much weight gain, but provides nutrients needed by both mother and baby. taking prenatal vitamins with folic acid and calcium is thought by some to help prevent high blood pressure readings. It is certainly helpful for preventing birth defects and providing for bone growth. Every woman planning for pregnancy needs to take a prenatal vitamin each day. walking every day can also be helpful for keeping blood pressure under control, if it is recommended by the obstetrician or midwife. Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.