High Cholesterol During Pregnancy
How having high cholesterol during pregnancy can affect you and baby -- and what you can do about it.
What is high cholesterol during pregnancy?
Also known as hypercholesterolemia, high blood cholesterol means you have too much cholesterol (you guessed it) in your blood. Cholesterol is a type of fat that your body needs to function, but too much can clog your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
What are the signs of high cholesterol during pregnancy?
There aren’t really any outward signs that your cholesterol levels are higher than normal -- you’ll pretty much feel the same as you would with “normal” levels. But if they stay high for a long time, the cholesterol can cause atherosclerosis (a buildup of cholesterol and fat) in your artery walls, which can lead to something more serious, like a heart attack or stroke.
Are there any tests for high cholesterol?
A simple blood test can determine your cholesterol levels.
How common is high cholesterol during pregnancy?
It’s very common for your cholesterol levels to be high when you’re expecting. “Normal” cholesterol levels are usually between 120 and 190 mg/dl, but in pregnancy they can be well over 200 mg/dl.
How did I get high cholesterol?
Your cholesterol levels naturally rise during pregnancy and while nursing, because your body is producing more cholesterol as part of its many hormonal changes.
How will my high cholesterol affect my baby?
It probably won’t. However, if your total cholesterol levels go too high (over 240) your doctor may want to do additional tests or recheck your levels after your baby is born, to make sure you’re not at risk for scary problems (see next page for treatments and prevention).