Hypertension during your pregnancy can be very dangerous, but recent studies show that the medications prescribed to regulate the problem might pose an even bigger risk. An ACE inhibitor is a medication used to treat high blood pressure in people with hypertension. However, the way it works is counterproductive to the development of a baby in utero.

Since ACE inhibitors dilate the blood vessels, the flow of blood to the baby in the womb becomes irregular, which can cause serious birth defects. According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, infants that were exposed to ACE inhibitors in their first trimester had a higher chance of suffering from major congenital malformations. These infants often had serious problems with their cardiovascular system and their central nervous system.

Luckily for women with hypertensive disorders who are hoping to have a baby, not all hypertensive medication was as dangerous. Other medications caused very few instances of birth defects when taken in the first trimester. While ACE inhibitors should be avoided completely during pregnancy, not all treatments are quite as dangerous.

If you suffer from hypertension usually or if it comes on during your pregnancy, you will be able to treat it. Though, your doctor should know that ACE inhibitors are not the solution as they could damage your baby’s development permanently. Instead, try a different type of medication that is not contraindicated during pregnancy. As always, never take any type of medication without first getting approval from your doctor. Even if a certain drug seems harmless, you usually have no idea how it might interact with your child’s growth, and it’s not a good idea to take any chances. A single dose could cause permanent problems.

Hypertension during pregnancy can be dangerous, but you might only make the problem worse by taking a medication that isn’t safe for your baby. Seek out other types of treatment. Do your research, and always consult with a professional physician before trying anything new on your own. Your baby’s health should be your priority, so when seeking out the solution for a health problem, you should make sure it won’t be counterproductive.