Hypertension caused by preeclampsia can adversely affect the fetus by causing constriction of the placental arteries. Arterial constriction may result in severe reduction in the blood flow to areas of the placenta. If the blood flow remains constricted, areas of the placenta may "die", putting the baby in distress.
David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc. Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Bellevue, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine.