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Risks and Effects of Preeclampsia and Eclampsia to the Mother

Out of a few things that may go wrong with the pregnancy, preeclampsia and eclampsia are the conditions that may impact pre and post pregnancy maternal health.

Preeclampsia:

The condition occurs in over 5-8% women over the world. Characterised by constant hypertension, this condition may lead to serious issues later. However, the good news is: it is treatable if detected early.

Risk factors:

- This condition is characterised by high blood pressure and organ damage (common to liver and kidneys)

- Symptoms start appearing 20 weeks post pregnancy and may prolong if left untreated or undiagnosed.

- The risk factors entail the weakening immune system and even genetic traits.

- The hypertension pre and during pregnancy are another leading causes. (A family history of high blood pressure should be taken up for discussion immediately with the doctor).

- For the very young Mommy's and for those who took the step after 40 bears the risk of this disease.

- Sedentary lifestyle leading to maternal obesity raises the risk of the problem considerably.

- IVF fertilisation or a gap of fewer than 2 years between the present and past pregnancy. (Raising the count with the same partner also increases the risk.)

- Multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets etc. raise the body demands and uterus stress).

- Rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes (both types).

- Improper nutrition to uterus due to damaged blood vessels or improper tissue formation.

Symptoms:

- High systolic and diastolic blood pressure (over 140/90)

- Liver fluid retention and other signs of oedema.

- Headaches that bring changes in vision

- Abdominal pain and decrease in platelet count

- Shortness of breath and vomitings.

- Proteins are not retained by the body and are passed via urine

- In some cases, edema can be another giveaway of this issue.

Prevention:

- Hypertension management

- Protein and calcium-rich diet

- Frequent medical attention

- Include yoga into regime

- Complete bed rest

- Fluid intake monitoring as well as steroid injections to boost baby growth

- Stay happy and stress-free

Eclampsia

When preeclampsia is left untreated, the condition becomes eclampsia which is characterised by the onset of convulsions in the expecting or new momma.

Risk factors

- Untreated preeclampsia

- Blood pressure above 160/110 mg Hg

- Preexisting diabetes

- Long gap between pregnancy

- Women with history of thrombophilia

- Family history

- Past experience of eclampsia

Symptoms

- Convulsions

- Muscle ache

- Irritability of Nervous system

- Drowsiness

- Temporary loss of vision

- Comatose condition

- May further give rise to haemorrhage, pneumonia, kidney dysfunction and even cardiac failure.

- All symptoms common to preeclampsia but severe

- Discomfort in bright light

- Tongue biting or hyperventilating

- Altered mental health

- In worst cases, multi-organ failure and placental bleeding.

Prevention

- Aspirin proves helpful in getting blood pressure in control

- In cases of emergency, delivery can be initiated

- The artificial prolonging of pregnancy or increased platelet count.

- Hypertensive treatment to manage blood pressure

- Constant fetal heart rate monitoring

- Intravenous magnesium sulphate intervention.

- Consult a gynaecologist immediately for overcoming complications.

- Outcomes of preeclampsia and eclampsia

- Preterm birth

- Abnormal baby breathing (heartbeat)

- Amniotic fluid becomes low

- Low birth weight

- Miscarriage

- Stillbirth

- Organ failure

- Postpartum complications

- Stroke (only in eclampsia)

- Death (only in eclampsia)

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