Pregnancy Hypertension and Kidney Care Program

The Pregnancy Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) and Kidney Care Center at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) provides expert care for women with kidney disease or hypertension who are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant. A team of maternal fetal medicine clinicians and a renal or kidney specialist (nephrologist) work together caring for patients.

If you have hypertension or kidney disease, you can increase your chance of a healthy pregnancy by receiving pre-pregnancy counseling from our specialty team. When your obstetrics provider refers you to our program, you will meet with both a specialist in maternal fetal medicine (perinatologist) and a renal or kidney specialist (nephrologist).

Together, they will identify any hypertension or kidney-related issues that might affect your pregnancy. By effectively managing these conditions, we reduce pregnancy complications that could impact your health or the health of your developing baby.

Caring for kidney problems during pregnancy

Kidney disease damages your kidneys and decreases their ability to keep you healthy. Healthy kidneys:

  • Remove waste and extra fluids from your body
  • Regulate water and other chemicals in your blood
  • Produce hormones

Having kidney disease during pregnancy increases your risk for preeclampsia, premature delivery and miscarriage. Some women with kidney disease also are at risk of their kidney disease worsening during pregnancy.

Our specialist physicians are experts at managing kidney disease during pregnancy. They will work with you, your OB-GYN and other caregivers to help increase your chances for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.

High blood pressure, kidney disease and pregnancy

Hypertension and kidney disease are often related. Hypertension is a common complication of kidney disease, and chronic hypertension can increase your risk for kidney disease.

If you had hypertension before pregnancy or developed it during pregnancy, LVHN experts are available to provide care through this special program. Our experts work closely with your obstetrics provider to manage these conditions.

We will regularly monitor your blood pressure readings because when you have kidney disease, an otherwise-normal blood pressure reading may be considered too high.

Care before, during and after pregnancy

Choose from board-certified obstetricians, maternal fetal medicine specialists, advanced practice clinicians and certified nurse-midwives.

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High-risk pregnancy care

LVHN offers leading-edge maternal fetal medicine services – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – for high-risk pregnancies.

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Bethan Nowak

Maternal Fetal Medicine

Nowak’s previous pregnancies were healthy. Her sons, Fillip, 4, and Leif, 2, were born close to home at Pocono Medical Center (now Lehigh Valley Hospital–Pocono). But this pregnancy was different. She was suffering from severe morning sickness and dehydration and in pain due to daily kidney stones.