Avoid PreeclampsiaOne of the biggest fears of pregnant mothers is to have complications during pregnancy, and among these is hypertension. Hypertension and pregnancy should not necessarily be a combination. But hypertension during pregnancy is an alarming case when left untreated as it can lead to more complications like preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a condition that occurs only during pregnancy. Some symptoms may include high blood pressure and protein in the urine, usually occurring after week 20 of pregnancy. Preeclampsia is often precluded by gestational hypertension. While high blood pressure during pregnancy does not necessarily indicate preeclampsia, it may be a sign of another problem. The condition affects at least 5-8% of pregnancies.

The exact cause of preeclampsia involves several factors. Experts believe it begins in the placenta, the organ that nourishes the fetus throughout pregnancy. Early in pregnancy, new blood vessels develop and evolve to efficiently send blood to the placenta. In women with preeclampsia, these blood vessels don't seem to develop or function properly. They're narrower than normal blood vessels and react differently to hormonal signaling, which limits the amount of blood that can flow through them. Causes of this abnormal development may include insufficient blood flow to the uterus, damage to the blood vessels, a problem with the immune system and certain genes. Symptoms may vary from mild to severe preeclampsia. In severe cases, preeclampsia is most likely to cause headaches, blurred vision, inability to tolerate bright light, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, urinating small amounts, pain in the upper right abdomen, shortness of breath, and a tendency to bruise easily.

The most effective treatment for preeclampsia is delivery. You are at increased risk of seizures, placental abruption, stroke and possibly severe bleeding until your blood pressure decreases. Of course, if it's too early in your pregnancy, delivery may not be the best thing for your baby. If you are diagnosed with preeclampsia, your doctor will let you know how often you'll need to come in for prenatal visits likely more frequently than what's typically recommended for pregnancy. You'll also need more frequent blood tests, ultrasounds and nonstress tests than would be expected in an uncomplicated pregnancy. Eating a good diet, exercising regularly, and keeping your body hydrated are ways to prevent hypertension during pregnancy.

NO I Zamubec Alomar C. Adlawan, RND



  • Preeclampsia

  • What are the symptoms?