Complying with every single one of your prenatal appointments is the best way to monitor and prevent preeclampsia complications from taking place.
Getting yourself a thorough physical examination is the best way of keeping yourself and your baby from harm.
This article will enlighten you on ways to prevent preeclampsia and how it is treated if you are diagnosed with one.
If you haven’t read the introduction to preeclampsia, you can keep yourself updated by clicking here.
The usual steps to prevent preeclampsia
- Practise healthy eating. Pretty standard, being mindful with what you eat can do wonders to prevent preeclampsia. Don’t subscribe to the “eating for two” BS. That’s a myth. Most pregnant women only require in between 300 to 500 extra calories each day. You need to make sure that you are taking a variety of macro and micronutrients to simply make up for a healthy diet.
- Increased those heart rates up. Starting an exercise regime can be good for you. However, you need to get some advice from your doctor first. If they give the green light, follow their recommendation to the letter. Most experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercises a week. This includes brisk walk, jogging and doing daily chores.
- Keep your eyes on the weighing scale. When you are pregnant, you are expected to gain weight. However, if your weight increases excessively, it predisposes you to complications which include preeclampsia. Hence, be mindful with what you eat and be strict with your weight gain.
- Aspirin can go as far as to prevent preeclampsia. Those who are considered high risk, can reduce the probability of getting preeclampsia simply by taking a low-dose aspirin. However, it is important to know the danger of self-medicating especially during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor and find out if taking a tablet of aspirin per day can help to prevent preeclampsia.
- Oral health can be important too. There is a multitude of research that suggests periodontal disease as an important factor of developing preeclampsia. So to err on the side of precaution, maintain good oral hygiene before you are trying to conceive. It might sound silly but flossing daily does save lives.
- Prenatal vitamins? Take them as prescribed. There are a few reasons for taking multivitamin other than preventing neural tube defects. One of them is to prevent preeclampsia. Deficiency in vitamins, particularly vitamin D is associated with an increased risk of developing preeclampsia.
Being diagnosed with preeclampsia? This is how it’s get treated
Like any other diseases, preeclampsia has its own mild and severe side.
The condition can be controlled with strict monitoring and medications but to cure it, you have to deliver your baby.
As long as your baby is still in there, you will have to bear with this particular complication. It’s quite challenging especially when you are diagnosed early on.
In 75% of cases, those who are diagnosed with preeclampsia will experience mild symptoms.
However, if it is not treated promptly, it can progress relatively quickly to a much more severe form of preeclampsia or worse, eclampsia.
Severe preeclampsia usually is associated with a much higher blood pressure which can subsequently lead to organs damage.
So how does a mild case of preeclampsia be managed? There are a few measures that would be recommended by your doctor:
- Monitor blood pressure
- Make amend to your current dietary intake (take less salt and more fibre-based foods)
- Do a daily kick count
- Strict bed rest, lie on your left side to lower blood pressure and increase blood flow to the placenta
- As soon as your baby is physically mature, they can be delivered by caesarean section. As long as the mother’s condition allows it, delivery should be carried out as close to term as possible
If you’ve been diagnosed with a severe preeclampsia, you would be admitted and monitored in the hospital. A few precautionary steps would be undertaken to optimise your health outcome:
- A variety of foetal monitoring efforts which include daily ultrasound, heart rate monitor, amniotic fluid and foetal growth assessment
- You will be given a certain type of blood pressure medication which would do no harm to your foetus
- To prevent progression to preeclampsia, magnesium sulphate will be given due to its anti-seizure properties
- As you have reached 34 weeks, your doctor would schedule an early delivery for you. An injection of corticosteroid would be given to stimulate your baby’s lungs to mature. If this is done much earlier, this particular injection is important.
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