Preeclampsia Awareness Month

Many of my prenatal yoga clients share their worries with me.  As a worrier myself, I humbly agree; there is much to worry about when pregnant.   Most of it is out of our control and with yoga, healthy eating, sleeping, breathing, positive thinking and education, there is really no reason to worry. 

Educating yourself on your pregnancy will provide all the tools you need to be aware of what is happening to your body during those mysterious nine months. 

Kate from Big City Belly suffered from eclampsia one week after giving birth, which is rare, as most cases are reported in the third trimester.  Since then, Kate has become educated and pregnant again. Hopefully, this pregnancy will not result in (pre)eclampsia, but, if it does, Kate will be prepared and aware. 

 According to the Mayo Clinic, preeclampsia is a condition of pregnancy marked by high blood pressure and excess protein in your urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Preeclampsia often causes only modest increases in blood pressure. Left untreated, however, preeclampsia can lead to serious -- even fatal -- complications for both you and your baby.

If you have preeclampsia, the only cure is delivery of your baby. If you're diagnosed with preeclampsia too early in your pregnancy for delivery to be an option, you and your doctor need to allow your baby more time to mature, without putting you or your baby at risk of serious complications.

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This month is Preeclampsia Awareness Month, and it is important to become aware of the knowledge needed to save your life and others. Monthly, bi-weekly and weekly appointments are critical so that your health care provider can check your blood pressure and urine.  These appointments might seem routine and quick, yet they are very necessary.

 

  If you experience any of these signs, please contact your doctor immediately:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension) -- 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or greater -- documented on two occasions, at least six hours but no more than seven days apart
  • Excess protein in your urine (proteinuria)
  • Severe headaches
  • Changes in vision, including temporary loss of vision, blurred vision or light sensitivity
  • Upper abdominal pain, usually under your ribs on the right side
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Decreased urine output
  • Sudden weight gain, typically more than 2 pounds (.9 kilograms) a week

Have you had your own experience with preeclampsia?  Please share your story in the comments below and educate others.

For more information, The Preeclampsia Foundation's website provides many details and resources.  Hopefully, this familiarity will give you a better idea of the unknown and one less thing to worry about.

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  • Thank you, Beth, for helping spread the Preeclampsia Foundation's message! It's so important.

  • Thank you for this important story! Visit www.promisewalk.org to learn how you can help or attend the Chicago Promise Walk & 5K Run for Preeclampsia.

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