Have you ever thought about some of the problems in pregnancy and the ways to prevent them from happening to you?
The knowledge of Preeclampsia among pregnant women tends to be low, therefore, knowledge of preeclampsia is all that you need.
Preeclampsia formally called toxemia occurs during pregnancy as hypertension, proteinuria, and edema in a woman who was not hypertensive before her pregnancy. It is different from a history of chronic hypertension and or gestational hypertension.
It happens late in pregnancy but can happen as early as 20weeks, even after delivery as the case may be.
It is mostly associated with excessive weight gain. The primary cause of preeclampsia is yet to be discovered and is still under investigation but it is more common in those with high booking pressure, placenta not working the way it should, multiple pregnancies, obesity, and low socioeconomic women. However, it is more in black than white women.
Risk factors for preeclampsia
First pregnancy: women in their first pregnancy tends to have intrapartum preeclampsia. Constantly checking your blood pressure, having a urinalysis test, and controlling excessive weight gain in the first pregnancy have been recommended.
Age: this contributes to preeclampsia pregnancy at an advanced age or pregnant women under 18 years of age.
Hereditary: sometimes it results from a family history of preeclampsia. Find out if it is not in the history of your family.
Obesity: in as much as pregnant women need a good diet during pregnancy, excessive weight gain is also possible and may cause preeclampsia.
Gestational diabetes: this is diabetes in pregnancy. Always check your blood sugar levels or urinalysis test to look out for glucosuria.
Chronic hypertension: when the pregnant woman was having chronic hypertension before her conception increases the chance of preeclampsia unless it is thoroughly treated.
What are the consequences of preeclampsia
1. It can lead to maternal and neonatal death
2. Preterm birth
3. Small-age- babies
4. Placenta abruption
Preeclampsia affects your mental health such that your guilt, feelings, loss of control, personal inadequacy, and postpartum depression. Also, current research has demonstrated that the consequences of preeclampsia extend far beyond preterm delivery. Its effects on both the mother and child continue, resulting in increased susceptibility to hypertension and chronic kidney disease.
Signs and symptoms of preeclampsia
• New/onset proteinuria
• Renal insufficiency such as liver dysfunction, and decreased levels of platelet in the blood (thrombocytopenia).
• Neurological complications such as visual disturbance and/ or evidence of uteroplacental dysfunction such as fetal growth restrictions.
• Sudden rise in blood pressure to 140/90mmHg or above.
• Blurred vision.
• Weight gain
When do the symptoms occur
Preeclampsia can happen mostly 20 weeks into pregnancy. However, it often begins after 34 weeks. Whilst in a few cases, symptoms can happen after birth, usually within 48 hours of delivery. Sometimes it tends to go away on its own.
How to manage preeclampsia
1. Get some bed rest: Bed rest reduces the blood pressure induced by stressful activities and relieves edema.
2. Sedative: Talk to your health care provider about the drugs to use either Diazepam or Largactile.
3. Monitor Blood Pressure: Your blood pressure must be checked always not to exceed 120/80mmHg. Where blood pressure is high, treat with Aldomet 250mg and Brinedirl.
4. Intrauterine fetal monitoring
5. Monitor your pregnancy regularly: Always visit the health care and attend your scheduled antenatal.
6. Induce labor after 34 weeks if conservative management cannot help.