What You Need to Know About Pre-Eclampsia

Pre-eclampsia is a life-threatening condition that affects a few pregnant women. It can cause hypertension and other health problems regardless if the woman had the condition before the pregnancy or not, but sometimes it does not show any symptoms at all.

Pre-Eclampsia is Closely Monitored

Most problems in pregnancy can be treated if diagnosed early, even pre-eclampsia, which can affect both the fetus and the mother, specifically near the expected day of delivery, and raises the possibility of having birth complications. Proper prenatal checkup should include checking of blood pressure, urine tests to detect the level of protein in the sample, ultrasound, checking for blood-clotting functions, Doppler scan, and weighing in of the mother.

Pre-Eclampsia Affects the Organs

The complications that come with pre-eclampsia affect the organs of the mother, especially the blood vessels, causing problems in other organs that do not get enough supply of oxygen and nutrients. This can lead to damages in the kidneys, liver, and brain. The blood vessels will also leak into the surrounding tissues, causing edema or swelling, while some of the protein in the blood will also leak into the urine. Consequently, some affected women are forced to deliver the baby before their due date to reduce the risks.

Pre-Eclampsia Affects the Baby

Not only does this affect the mother, but also the fetus, because of the constricted flow of the blood to the different organs including the uterus. As a result, the amniotic fluid may be too low and the uterine wall will tend to separate from the placenta even before the baby is due. The baby will not get the right nutrients from such a poor condition, leading to poor growth and early deliver.

Pre-Eclampsia Shows Confusing Symptoms

Some of the symptoms of pre-eclampsia are unnoticeable and may be attributed to other mild conditions. In some cases, pre-eclampsia shows no symptoms at all, because they mimic the effects women go through when pregnant. Some of the symptoms include high blood pressure, swelling, headache, nausea and/or vomiting, stomach or shoulder or lower back pain, shortness of breath, proteinuria or presence of protein in the urine, changes in the vision, hyperreflexia or very strong reflexes, and anxiety.

Pre-Eclampsia Should be Monitored and Treated

You might need the doctor more often if you have pre-eclampsia especially if you are nearing your due date, because treatments will depend on the development of the baby. For mild pre-eclampsia, your doctor will recommend changes in your diet and bed rest. While severe pre-eclampsia will need treatment for high blood pressure, vitamins and supplements, bed rest, and diet changes.

Pre-Eclampsia is Not Preventable Although healthy routines might reduce complications during pregnancy, there is no formula to preventing pre-eclampsia, especially if you are a high-risk individual. You’re more likely to have pre-eclampsia if: you’re a first-time mother, you had gestational hypertension, it runs in the family, you’re younger than 20 or older than 40 years, you have a body mass index of 30 or more, and you already have hypertension.

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