Preeclampsia is a rare but serious condition that should be considered during pregnancy, colloquially known as pregnancy poisoning, but threatens the life of the mother and the baby. Pregnancy poisoning, which generally occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy, can also occur before or after delivery in some cases.
Complaints can range from mild to severe.
Preeclampsia is a blood pressure disorder that usually occurs in the second or third trimester after the 20th week of pregnancy. It can also occur postpartum and is called Postpartum eclampsia. In preeclampsia, high blood pressure may occur suddenly, or there may be a slow and continuous increase in your blood pressure. Also, symptoms can range from mild to severe. Although the exact cause is unknown, the factors that increase the risk are;
- genetic factors
- blood vessel problems
- are autoimmune disorders.
Preeclampsia can occur not only during pregnancy but also after delivery.
Postpartum preeclampsia occurs after your baby is born and can happen even if you didn’t show any signs of preeclampsia during pregnancy. Postpartum preeclampsia symptoms can be seen at the earliest 48 hours, at the latest 6 weeks after birth. These symptoms are often the same as preeclampsia, but delivery makes the preeclampsia go away. To treat postpartum preeclampsia and to prevent seizures, drug therapy is usually used to lower blood pressure.
Pay attention to risk factors!
Although a single cause of preeclampsia has not been identified yet, some known risk factors are as follows:
- If it’s your first pregnancy,
- If there is less than 2 years or more than 10 years between two pregnancies,
- If you have had preeclampsia in your previous pregnancy,
- If you have a family history of preeclampsia
- If you have a history of high blood pressure or kidney disease
- If you are over 40 years old
- If you are carrying twins, triplets or more,
- If you have diabetes, blood clotting disorder, lupus or migraine
- If there is obesity
- If your baby is in vitro fertilization.
If you have one of the risk factors, be sure to tell your doctor.
It is not always possible to prevent preeclampsia, but if you have one of the known risk factors, you can take the following precautions.
- Preferably before getting pregnant, identify risk factors and take precautions. For example, control your high blood pressure, lose weight if necessary; If you have diabetes, be sure to control this ailment before pregnancy. If you have one of the risk factors but are already pregnant, your doctor will advise you on the best steps to take. .
Consult your doctor as soon as you notice warning signs in yourself.
Signs and symptoms of preeclampsia in pregnancy include:
- persistent headache
- Seeing floating dots and impaired vision
- Pain in the upper abdomen or shoulders
- Dizziness and vomiting (second half of pregnancy)
- sudden weight gain
- Sudden swelling of the face and hands
- difficulty breathing
- Decreased urination
Because some of these symptoms (such as swelling, nausea, and headaches) are also signs of pregnancy, it can be difficult to tell when something is wrong.
The treatment is determined according to the severity of the preeclampsia.
Delivering the baby is the only treatment for preeclampsia. However, premature birth can be dangerous for the baby. Therefore, your doctor will decide on the best treatment option based on the severity of your preeclampsia and how long it is until your delivery.
- Mild preeclampsia: If your preeclampsia is mild, your doctor may want to monitor your baby’s movements more frequently, either in the hospital or on an outpatient basis. You may be asked to have more frequent prenatal checkups. Your doctor may suggest starting labor at 37 weeks of pregnancy.
- Severe preeclampsia: If your preeclampsia is severe, it is best to be treated in hospital, and if your preeclampsia is getting worse, your delivery can be started at 34 weeks or just before or after. Medication may be used to lower your blood pressure and help prevent seizures. Corticosteroids may also be given to improve liver and platelet function and the development of your baby’s lungs.
Preeclampsia is a rare and treatable condition that your doctor can monitor and manage. Remember that most women with preeclampsia have healthy babies, and this is just one of many risks that you should be aware of and watch out for throughout your pregnancy.