Preeclampsia Prevention: What You Need To Know

Preeclampsia is fairly common and a serious condition that can develop during pregnancy. Public figures like Beyoncé, Serena Williams, and Kim Kardashian have all experienced preeclampsia and have helped to shed light on the importance of education and awareness. Here we’ll help you understand what preeclampsia is so you can know the signs and take charge of your health.

What Is Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia affects about 1 in 25 pregnancies and can develop during the second half of pregnancy (after 20 weeks) or postpartum. It causes persistent high blood pressure. If left untreated, it can impair kidney and liver function, cause blood clotting problems, seizures, fluid in the lungs, and can affect blood flow to the placenta which can lead to premature birth. In severe cases, it can be fatal. The exact cause of preeclampsia is still unknown. However, there is evidence to show that it may be due to insufficient blood flow to the uterus.

Preeclampsia Risk Factors

Certain factors may increase your risk, but it doesn’t mean you’ll definitely develop it. That said, it’s still important to know your risk, so you can be better informed. Here are some to be aware of:

Preeclampsia Treatment

If you develop preeclampsia, the best course of action is often delivery. For full-term pregnancies (past 37 weeks), this might involve inducing labor or a C-section, depending on your specific situation.

If you’re earlier in your pregnancy, the doctors will carefully weigh the risks of preeclampsia against those of an early delivery. This decision considers factors like how far along you are, the severity of preeclampsia, and your overall health.

In some cases, medications to manage your blood pressure and steroids to help your baby’s lungs develop might be necessary before delivery.  Your doctor will discuss the best course of action for you and your baby.

Empowering Yourself For a Healthy Pregnancy

While there’s no guarantee that you can prevent preeclampsia, there are some steps you can take to promote a healthy pregnancy and lower your risk.

Know The Signs

Early action is key! You should contact your Axia Women’s Health provider right away if you experience any of the following:

It’s always best to air on the side of caution and speak up if you’re feeling “off.” With earlier diagnosis and treatment, it is possible to treat preeclampsia and ensure both you and your baby are healthy.

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