Preeclampsia: Stress for you and the baby
April 12, 2021
Preeclampsia, also known as toxemia, usually affects pregnant persons during the second half of their pregnancy. In preeclampsia, blood pressure is high for the pregnant person. If treatment for the high blood pressure is not provided, it can prove to be harmful for both the pregnant person and the baby. It affects roughly 5 percent of pregnancies.
The condition is generally diagnosed after the 20th week of pregnancy. It might also occur earlier – early onset preeclampsia or after delivery – postpartum preeclampsia.
Eclampsia, the severe progression of this condition, occurs during pregnancy or rarely after. In this condition high blood pressure may turn into seizures.
Preeclampsia vs Eclampsia
Preeclampsia and eclampsia are in the spectrum of high blood pressure disorders that can affect a pregnant person during pregnancy. There are different types of preeclampsia. At the milder end of the spectrum, a pregnant person can experience gestational hypertension. This occurs when the pregnant person who has had a normal BP develops high blood pressure when they’re more than 20 weeks pregnant. BP will return to normal within 12 weeks of delivery. Severe gestational hypertension in pregnant persons can lead to preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia occurs at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy in a pregnant person with a normal blood pressure before their pregnancy. If the condition is severe enough that it affects the brain’s functions causing seizures or even coma in some cases, then it is eclampsia.
What Causes Pre – Eclampsia?
Though, the exact reason for the cause of preeclampsia remains unknown. Most experts have said that this might occur when there is an issue with the development of the placenta. Blood vessels that supply blood to the placenta are narrower than others and respond differently to hormone signals. It limits blood flow to the placenta.
The narrowness might occur due to:
- Blood vessel damage
- Blood flow insufficiency to the uterus
- Issues in the immune system
- Genetic factors
What are Preeclampsia signs and symptoms?
The initial symptoms that pregnant person might experience:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Protein in the urine (proteinuria)
With the progression of preeclampsia, the pregnant person might experience edema (swelling) or fluid retention in the hands, feet, ankles and face. Although swelling is common during pregnancy, with preeclampsia, the pregnant person may experience sudden and severe edema.
Later, the pregnant person may experience:
- Sudden and severe edema (swelling)
- Blurred vision
- Severe headaches
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid weight gain
- Decreased urine output
What are the risk factors of Preeclampsia?
- First Pregnancy with a new partner or first ever pregnancy
- Family history
- Pregnancy after 40 years of age
- Considerable gap between pregnancies
- History of certain conditions
- Chronic high blood pressure
- Multiple pregnancies at the same time
How is Preeclampsia diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider may recommend a few tests to diagnose the health of you and your baby.
- Blood tests to assess the functioning of the pregnant person’s liver and kidneys.
- Blood tests to assess the blood platelet levels
- Blood tests to assess the RBC in the pregnant person
- Weight of the pregnant person
- Fetal heart rate assessment
- Physical examination to assess swelling
What is Preeclampsia medication and Pre eclampsia treatment?
The most recommended high blood pressure treatment or preeclampsia treatment is to deliver the baby.
It is vital to not consume any blood pressure medication, vitamins, supplements without consulting your doctor first. Physicians might recommend blood pressure medication during your labour to reduce blood pressure. Do not go for home high blood pressure remedies for treating Preeclampsia BP.
If you think you may be at risk of developing Preeclampsia or you have any of the symptoms consult our experts immediately for a diagnosis. For an appointment call: 044 6677 8888