Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pre Eclampsia A silent but dangerous complication of Pregnancy

When a Beautiful time can turn scary.

Pregnancy is a beautiful time in any woman's life, knowing that your child is growing inside you feeling the little kicks, and we all do everything we can to make sure our babies develop right, we eat right, take vitamins and go to our regular doctor's appointments, but unfortunately it doesn't always go as we imagined so many times over and over since that pregnancy test showed positive for the first time.
There is a very serious complication called Preeclampsia also called Toxemia is a condition that women get during pregnancy. It is marked by high blood pressure and high level of protein in the urine, some women with preeclampsia can also have swelling in the feet, hands, and legs.
This condition usually shows up during the second half of the pregnancy, late in the second trimester sometimes in the third but sometimes it can occur earlier.
In cases that preeclampsia is not treated it can advance to Eclampsia the final and worse phase and that can cause seizures, coma, and even death of the mother and baby this can occur anytime during the pregnancy, during or after childbirth.
You should look out for any excessive swelling that does not go away with rest and is accompanied by : rapid weight gain(due to excessive body fluid), Severe headaches, abdominal pain, reduced urine output, dizziness and excessive vomiting and nausea.
Pre eclampsia is usually seen in first time pregnancies but it can occur if you have a previous history of it, I had it twice, both my babies were born extremely ill and spent time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit,  Pre eclampsia can prevent the placenta from receiving sufficient blood, which can lead to your baby being born small for gestational age. This is the leading cause for premature births and can lead to serious complications for the baby to include: learning disabilities, epilepsy, cerebral palsy as well as hearing and vision problems.
Both my babies were born via emergency C-Section due to this complication and they are both healthy and thriving now, but my advice is to stay on your doctor about this if you develop any of the symptoms, with my first pregnancy I was not treated by my doctor and ended up having a baby under 4lbs who stayed in the hospital for over 3 weeks, that is heartbreaking to any mother and I want to help anyone reading this avoid that.


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