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June 1, 2016 | OB/GYN • Women and Children's Center
Preeclampsia is a word that’s been in the news recently, mainly due to the fact that Kim Kardashian West just had her second baby, and confessed that she had this condition during both of her pregnancies. As a high-visibility celebrity going through a preeclampsia pregnancy, it’s helped to bring some awareness to the common condition that many pregnant women experience.
Preeclampsia is a higher than usual blood pressure level during a pregnancy, and can lead to swelling in the hands, legs and feet, and in more serious cases, can sometimes lead to seizures. There are usually higher-than-normal protein levels present in the urine, so it’s vital that your doctor is able to diagnose this condition correctly to take steps to ensure that mother and baby will be safe throughout the pregnancy.
The averages for this condition vary a bit each year, but in 2002 the Preeclampsia Foundation did a study estimating that 6.6 million pregnant women had this condition. It can be very serious if it turns into eclampsia.
Around 18 percent of maternal deaths during pregnancy or delivery are contributed to preeclampsia, so it can be very scary on the surface to be diagnosed with this condition. At Revere Health, we are more than happy to guide you step by step through your diagnosis of preeclampsia, and answer any questions you might have to give you the peace of mind you need.
6.6 million pregnant women have preeclampsia, and roughly 18% of maternal deaths during pregnancy and delivery are contributed to it.
Some people wonder how they got the condition of preeclampsia, and if there was something they did? Most of the time it’s not the woman’s fault. There are certain risk factors that are going to increase your chances of getting preeclampsia including multiple pregnancies, being overweight, having high blood pressure and preexisting conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or kidney disease. That’s not to say that you can’t have a healthy pregnancy, or that if you have any of these risk factors you will automatically get preeclampsia, but they are extra factors to look at that put you in that high-risk group.
It might be hard for your doctor to even determine if you have this condition, but you should tell your doctor right away if you experience headaches, strange stomach pain in the upper part of your body, blurry eyesight and random anxiety as these symptoms often signify preeclampsia. Usually, preeclampsia is diagnosed later in pregnancy by the end of the second, or beginning of the third trimester.
If you have been pregnant before, and were diagnosed with preeclampsia, the chances are fairly good that you’ll be diagnosed again with subsequent pregnancies. Keep in mind as well that if your mother or sister had this condition, it might run in your family. Tell your doctor this as soon as you get pregnant, so he or she can watch for signs of preeclampsia.
Tell your doctor right away if you experience headaches, strange stomach pain in the upper part of your body, blurry eyesight or random anxiety.
Our OB/GYN doctors are experts at handling pregnancy cases that deal with preeclampsia. If you have this condition, or feel you are at risk for it, talk to us today to help alleviate some of your fears in order to have the healthiest pregnancy possible.
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.