PREECLAMP­SIA

The Ve­gan Doc­tor Tells You What to Look Out For & What You Need to Know

Raise Vegan - - Contents - Story by Dr. Re­becca Jones

Mild cases are quite com­mon, oc­cur­ring in 1 in 10 preg­nan­cies, whereas se­vere preeclamp­sia oc­curs in 1 in 50 preg­nan­cies. The main con­cern with preeclamp­sia is raised blood pres­sure ( hyper­ten­sion), but it oc­curs in as­so­ci­a­tion with pro­tein in the urine ( pro­tein­uria), and swelling of the hands and feet ( edema).

How­ever, hyper­ten­sion isn' t al­ways caused by preeclamp­sia; blood pres­sure can be el­e­vated be­fore con­cep­tion, in­creas­ing the risk of hyper­ten­sion- re­lated ill­ness dur­ing preg­nancy. In ad­di­tion, there is preg­nancy-in­duced hyper­ten­sion( PIH), which is raised blood pres­sure start­ing dur­ing preg­nancy,

and oc­curs with­out the com­pli­ca­tions of pro­tein­uria or edema.

Al­though it is treat­able, the rea­son doc­tors worry about preeclamp­sia is be­cause of the com­pli­ca­tions it causes, which, un­for­tu­nately, are of­ten se­ri­ous. They in­clude brain hem­or­rhage, blind­ness, liver and kid­ney fail­ure, fluid in the lungs, and even death of mother or baby. Un­treated preeclamp­sia can also lead to eclamp­sia, which is the oc­cur­rence of seizures due to preg­nancy in­duced hyper­ten­sion. Eclamp­sia is rare and only de­vel­ops in around 1 in 3500 cases of preeclamp­sia.

There are sev­eral risk fac­tors that an ob­stet­ric team will look out for in­clud­ing pre­vi­ous di­ag­no­sis of raised blood pres­sure - in preg­nancy or oth­er­wise, di­a­betes, chronic kid­ney dis­ease, and some au­toim­mune dis­eases such as lu­pus and an­tiphos­pho­lipid syn­drome. Other fac­tors that can in­crease the risk of get­ting preeclamp­sia in­clude: • Over 40 years of age

• First time giv­ing birth

• 10 years or more be­tween

preg­nan­cies

• BMI of over 30kg/ m ²

• Mul­ti­ple preg­nancy ( twins or more) Preeclamp­sia can be com­pletely asymp­to­matic, which is why an­te­na­tal ap­point­ments and screen­ing are so im­por­tant. How­ever, pos­si­ble signs of preeclamp­sia t hat an ex­pec­tant mother can look for in­clude headache, vis­ual dis­tur­bances, vom­it­ing, stomach pains, un­ex­pected and sud­den weight gain, and swelling of the hands, feet or face. If any of th­ese symp­toms oc­cur, the mother should see her ob­stet­ric team im­me­di­ately to be as­sessed for preeclamp­sia. How­ever, ev­ery an­te­na­tal ap­point­ment will in­clude checks to make sure she has not de­vel­oped this con­di­tion. Th­ese in­clude blood pres­sure mea­sure­ments and a urine dip­stick test for pro­tein.

Once preeclamp­sia is di­ag­nosed, mea­sures will be taken to get mom's blood pres­sure down and she may be given an­ti­hy­per­ten­sives t hat are safe for use dur­ing preg­nancy. It is likely that mom will be ad­mit­ted to the hos­pi­tal for fur­ther tests while her raised blood pres­sure is be­ing treated.

If mom be­comes more un­well, or if t he hyper­ten­sion is un­con­trol­lable, the ob­stet­ric team will dis­cuss the pos­si­bil­ity of de­liv­er­ing the baby early in or­der to keep both mom and baby safe, how­ever, this is usu­ally avoided as much as pos­si­ble un­til 34 weeks of ges­ta­tion.

Af­ter de­liv­ery, both mom and baby will be closely mon­i­tored, and al­though mom's blood pres­sure will even­tu­ally re­turn to nor­mal, it can take a lit­tle time, so an­ti­hy­per­ten­sives will likely be con­tin­ued for sev­eral weeks. Mom will also have a more thor­ough post­na­tal check up to make sure that ev­ery­thing is get­ting back to nor­mal. At­tend­ing all cl i nic ap­point­ments is ex­tremely im­por­tant so t hat your health and the health of your un­born baby can be mon­i­tored. If you are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing any of the symp­toms of preeclamp­sia, please tell your mid­wife or ob­ste­tri­cian im­me­di­ately so that in­ves­ti­ga­tion and man­age­ment can be ar­ranged as soon as pos­si­ble.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.