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What Pregnant Women Should Know About Preeclampsia

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There are many joys that come with being in the family way. Unfortunately, there are also certain complications that may strike until your baby is delivered. One of the most serious pregnancy-related issues is what doctors refer to as preeclampsia. This article will discuss some of the most important matters about it.

So if you are pregnant, make sure that you keep on reading. Feel free to share this article later on most especially if you have female friends who also have buns in their ovens.

Overview

In a nutshell, preeclampsia is a complication of pregnancy that is characterized by high blood pressure or hypertension. The blood pressure is regarded as high if it’s constantly above 120/80 mmHg.

Because high blood pressure that’s left unmanaged properly can wreak havoc on the blood vessels, preeclampsia also involves damage to the vital organs. According to health authorities, the liver and kidneys are usually the organs that get damaged first if preeclampsia is not put under control.

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It’s important to deal with preeclampsia right away not only to prevent damage to some of the organs, but also keep the pregnant woman and the growing baby in her womb out of harm’s way.

The best way to sort out preeclampsia is to have the baby delivered. Unfortunately, it’s not a viable solution especially if the baby is not mature enough to be delivered. The intake of medications for lowering the blood pressure and also frequent prenatal visits as well as regular tests can help in keeping complications from striking.

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Causes

There are various things that can cause preeclampsia to come into being. Doctors say that the problem has something to do with the placenta, something that provides nourishment to the baby until it is delivered.

In order for the pregnant woman’s body to be able to send nutrients and oxygen to the placenta, new blood vessels have to form. Unfortunately, sometimes these blood vessels do not develop properly. In some instances, they are narrower than they should be. It’s due to this reason why the blood pressure may rise.

Having high blood pressure or being hypertensive even before being in the family way is also something that can be blamed for preeclampsia. Needless to say, you are at risk of suffering from preeclampsia if you have high blood pressure to begin with.

Risk Factors

Aside from being diagnosed with high blood pressure, there are many other preeclampsia risk factors, or things that can increase the likelihood of pregnant woman to develop preeclampsia.

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Doctors say that preeclampsia tends to run in families. This only means that you may suffer from it if you have female relatives who had it while they were pregnant. Is this your first time to get pregnant? Then it’s possible for you to have preeclampsia. Experts confirm that preeclampsia risk is higher during a woman’s first pregnancy.

Other common risk factors for preeclampsia include: being obese or overweight, being very young or being older than 40, multiple pregnancies (carrying twins or triplets or other multiples), and having a history of certain medical conditions like diabetes, kidney disease and lupus.

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Symptoms

At the onset, preeclampsia dos not usually produce symptoms. High blood pressure associated with it may develop gradually, although in some cases it shows up out of the blue. It’s because of this exactly why the blood pressure of a pregnant woman who is at high risk of preeclampsia should always be monitored.

Swelling or edema especially in the hands and face may be observed, although it’s important to note that it’s also something that can be encountered by pregnant women who do not suffer from preeclampsia.

A few other common symptoms are: headaches, changes in vision, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, and proteinuria or having excess protein in the pee.

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