Preeclampsia is a high risk condition which occurs during late pregnancy. It occurs usually after 20 weeks of pregnancy and affects both the mother and the unborn baby.The incomplete development and malfunctioning of the placenta is believed to be the cause of preeclampsia.
The placenta receives less blood from the mother’s uterine arteries, which leads to a series of events which can be fatal for the mother and the baby.
If you have preexisting conditions like hypertension or diabetes then you belong to the high risk group of developing preeclampsia. Multiple pregnancies, any previous family history of the condition and obesity are also quoted as the reasons for preeclampsia. Pregnant women who are above 20 or over 35 years of age are also susceptible.
The functions of the kidney, heart and liver of the mother can be affected. The blood clotting mechanism is also affected which affects the growth of the uterus. The babies will be very small and will have hearing and vision problems. There is a high risk of placental abruption, premature births and even fetal death. The chances of a normal delivery become very less and the need for cesarean sections increases.
The symptoms of preeclampsia include blurred vision, headache swelling of ankles, abnormal weight gain and severe abdominal pain. Some women also notice blood in their urine. Some tend to develop convulsions which are termed as eclampsia.
The only solution to preeclampsia is delivery of the baby. If the condition is mild, then the doctor will suggest continuing the pregnancy until it is safe to deliver the baby. Treatment depends on severity of the disease and the development of the baby.
Your doctor will prescribe rest or hospitalization for regular monitoring of condition and to prepare you for the delivery. Intravenous administration of magnesium sulfate is usually given to prevent eclampsia. If you are nearing term, induction of labor might be done.
If you have high blood pressure, then try to normalize the condition before you start planning for a baby. Discuss with your physician about the risk factors involved. Usually doses of vitamin C, D and folic acid are prescribed to women who fall under the high risk group.
There is no complete cure for preeclampsia other than the delivery of the baby. So prepare yourself, know about all the risks involved and be completely educated about the condition