WHAT IS PREECLAMPSIA?
Preeclampsia is when you have high blood pressure and possibly protein in your urine during pregnancy or after delivery. You can also have low clotting factors(platelets) in your blood or indicators of kidney or liver trouble.
Preeclampsia happens after the 20th week of pregnancy. It can happen earlier, or after delivery. Around 5% of all pregnant women get preeclampsia.
WHAT CAUSES PREECLAMPSIA?
It is unsure what causes preeclampsia, but some potential causes are:
- Genetic Factors.
- Blood vessel problems
- Autoimmune disorders.
Here are some risks factors that can increase your chances of developing preeclampsia:
- Being pregnant with multiple babies.
- Being over 35 years of age.
- Being pregnant for the first time.
- Being Obese
- Having history of high blood pressure.
- Having history of Diabetes.
- Having history of a kidney disorder.
Please make sure you get early and constant prenatal care, It can help your Ob-gyn diagnose preeclampsia and help avoid complications. Having a diagnosis will allow for proper monitoring until you give birth.
SYMPTOMS OF PREECLAMPSIA
You might not notice any symptoms of preeclampsia, but if you do develop any symptoms here are the common ones:
- Persistent headaches
- Abnormal swelling in hands and face
- Weight increase.
- Changes in vision.
- Pain in the right upper abdomen
- Nausea & vomiting
- Decreased urine output
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR PREECLAMPSIA?
Treatment depends on how close you are to your due date. If you’re close enough to your due date and the baby is developed enough, your Ob-gyn will want you to deliver as soon as possible. If it’s a mild case of preeclampsia, your ob-gyn might recommend:
- Getting plenty of rest, lying on your left side to take the weight of the baby off major blood vessels.
- Having more frequent prenatal appointments. * Less salt intake and drinking 8 glasses of water a day.
- Change diet, add more protein.
In severe cases your ob-gyn might put you on medications, bed rest, and dietary changes until you are far along to safely deliver your baby.
TREATMENTS AFTER DELIVERY?
Once you deliver your baby, preeclampsia symptoms should resolve. Blood pressure readings should go back to normal within 48 hours after delivery.
HOW DOES PREECLAMPSIA AFFECT THE MOTHER?
If not treated on time and properly, it can lead to serious complications for the mother such as:
- Liver or renal failure.
- Cardiovascular issues It can lead to life threatening conditions:
- Eclampsia( Very severe preeclampsia that can cause seizures).
- HELLP Syndrome( Hemolysis elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count) happens in late pregnancy. It affects the breakdown of red blood cells, how the blood clots, and liver functions for the pregnant woman.
HOW DOES PREECLAMPSIA AFFECT THE BABY?
It prevents the placenta from getting enough blood, and if the placenta doesn’t get enough blood, the baby gets less oxygen and food. It can result in low birth weight.
It’s very important to get prenatal care from the very beginning , or as soon as you know you’re pregnant. Prenatal care can help prevent complications and inform you about important steps you can take to protect your baby and ensure a healthy pregnancy and reduce the risk of pregnancy complications.