Belgium : Detection and management of gestational hypertension

In Belgium in 2016, midwife Dorien Lanssens received an €8,000 Maieutics Prize for her research on detecting and managing gestational (pregnancy-induced) hypertension.

The problem affects 5% to 10% of all pregnancies and is one of the major causes of maternal and fetal mortality and morbidity worldwide.

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In Belgium, women with gestational hypertension are typically admitted to a prenatal unit for observation, before returning home under medical supervision; in the most serious cases, labor is induced ahead of schedule. Lanssens, however, believes that women are not screened for hypertension early enough in pregnancy, nor are they monitored closely enough when a serious risk is present. She has set two objectives for her research: early detection of high-risk pregnancies and improving follow-up using remote monitoring.