How to Deal With Preeclampsia

A million and one worries greet mums-to-be when they are also greeted by the happy news that they are expecting.  So many health fears appear on the horizon when those magic blue lines appear in the window of your pregnancy test.  With just a little bit more information on hand however, these qualms can be easily kept at bay.

One alarm that mothers have heard more about lately is preeclampsia (pre-e-clamp-si-a).  This is characterised by high blood pressure and protein in your urine, and is one of the main reasons why women who are pregnant may be prescribed to take things much easier and get bed-rest during their pregnancy.

Many of the symptoms of preeclamspia may just as easily be the normal side-effects of being pregnant however, it therefore worthwhile knowing a little more about it so that you can manage your health over the next few months.  A professional diagnosis is certainly something that should follow any doubts on your part in order to take care of you and your growing baby. 

Preeclampsia is a hypertensive disorder accompanied with pregnancy.  It may first be diagnosed in the late second or third trimesters, and only very rarely before then. Warning signs may include headaches, pain in the abdomen, problems with vision such as blurred vision, sensitivity to light, or spots in front of the eyes.  Others include nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath or a burning sensation behind the sternum, and confusion or heightened anxiety.  The vast majority of women with preeclampsia deliver a healthy baby and have a full recovery.  It can however go from mild to serious very quickly and that is why care needs to be taken of all pregnant women.  This can then raise complications around the mother’s and baby’s health.

Preeclampsia occurs in less than 8% of pregnancies.  There is however certain factors which increase one’s risk of becoming a candidate, so planning ahead can also help mitigate this possibility.  Obesity, with a higher BMI of more than 30 puts women at risk, as does being over 40 or under 18.  Certain medical conditions, connected with blood or reproductive system health have also been seen as precursors.  Mothers expecting twins or other multiple births also have a higher chance of such a diagnosis.

A diagnosis of preeclampsia certainly does not mean the end of being able to walk about freely or that drastic action is needed.  Your gynaecologist or midwife will look at many indicators of the health of the mother baby.  Tests may include blood pressure monitoring, and liver, kidney and other blood tests.  What your baby is up to is also examined.  For babies less than thirty-seven weeks, your healthcare professional will recommend what is possible to keep the foetus growing.  Drugs and lifestyle changes may be prescribed.  If you are later in term, an earlier delivery may be a stronger option.   What is important is that a balanced approach and calm frame of mind be maintained, to be best for both of you.

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