Preeclampsia is a medical condition where there is sudden rise in blood pressure, occurrence of swelling (edena) and albuminuria (excess of protein albumin leaks into the urine). Swelling tends to occur in the face, hand and feet. Swelling tends to occur in the face, hands and feet.
It usually begins to develop in the third trimester and is found in 1 out of every 20 pregnancies.
When will I be more likely to develop preeclampsia?
You have moderately higher risk of having preeclampsia if you have the following signs:
- This is your first pregnancy
- Your age is more than 40 years
- You have expecting twins or triplets pregnancy
- Your mother or sister had preeclampsia
You have increased risk of developing preeclampsia if you have:
- Diabetes or chronic (persistent) kidney disease
- High blood pressure or pre-eclampsia in 1st pregnancy
- High blood pressure at the initial stage of pregnancy
- Antiphospholipid syndrome (Women at a higher risk of having miscarriage and of forming blood clots.)
- systemic lupus erythematosus ( joint pains, skin rashes, tiredness and kidney problems in severe cases)
If any two or above are observed, a daily dose of aspirin after 12 weeks of pregnancy is advisable. You may also need to undergo cardiotocograph (CTG) monitoring post 26 weeks of pregnancy for your baby’s wellbeing.
How is preeclampsia harmful to my baby?
The more severe preeclampsia, the sooner it occurs resulting in major risks for you and your baby. Women with preeclampsia usually develop mild version close to the due date and their babies are born normal with proper care.
However, in case of severe preeclampsia, many organs are affected leading to lethal health problems and this is why, early delivery is done to avoid such situations.
Preeclampsia promotes constriction of blood vessel causing high blood pressure and minimized blood flow impacting various organs in our body like kidneys, liver and brain.
When there is lesser blood flow to a female’s uterus, it poses as a problem to baby’s health as it may cause poor growth, placental abruption and much more. Also, your baby may suffer from prematurity effects due to premature birth.
How can preeclampsia be treated?
If you are having preeclampsia, you need to visit a hospital to be monitored for identifying the severity of preeclampsia.
You need to get your blood pressure checked about 4 times every day along with blood tests to diagnose complications. On the basis of these tests, you will be allowed to go home or you will have to stay in the hospital for further monitoring.
Your blood pressure should be checked 7 times on everyday basis and will be given necessary medications to keep blood pressure in control. You will undergo ultrasound tests including Doppler scans to track the blood flow from placenta to your baby.
If your baby’s condition seems fine and you recover in the following days then you will be allowed to go home before delivery date. However, if your baby is not delivered in 39th or 40th week of pregnancy, you will be given artificial labor.
In case of severe preeclampsia, you are required to stay in hospital and will be monitored more thoroughly with regular blood pressure, urine and blood tests coupled with medications to regulate blood pressure levels. Besides this, your baby will be examined frequently as well to analyze your baby’s growth and health through scans and heartbeat rates will be also measured.
If your blood pressure is beyond control then you may be asked to get labor induction done or have a baby through caesarean.
Your baby is likely to be fine even after premature birth. Every preeclampsia case is different in its own way. The main factor is how early your baby was born and what was the weight at the time of birth.
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