Why pregnant women must not ignore blurred vision, headache, abdominal pain on the right side
Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful phases of a woman’s life, but it is also one that may come with many ups and downs. This is why mothers-to-be need to be extremely careful about their well-being during this time. Among the many things that can affect a pregnant woman is preeclampsia, a severe blood pressure condition. “Pregnant mothers with preeclampsia present with high blood pressure and increased levels of protein in their urine, known as proteinuria. It typically develops after the 20th week of pregnancy and poses danger to both the mother and the foetus,” said Dr Jagriti Varshney, a gynecologist and obstetrician, adding that preeclampsia occurs in almost 8 per cent of all pregnancies globally, and is more common in first-time mothers.
Several factors may heighten the risk of developing it, as per the expert:
*Expecting multiple babies
*Family history of preeclampsia
*History of high blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney disease
*Autoimmune conditions like lupus
Other than high blood pressure and high levels of protein in the urine, here are some signs you may have preeclampsia:
*Dark spots in vision
*Abdominal pain on the right side
*Swelling on hands and face
While the exact cause of preeclampsia is not known, it is believed to have connections to the health of the placenta. “The blood supply to the placenta might decrease during preeclampsia, which can cause issues for both the mother and the foetus. It can also lead to premature delivery, in turn leading to health complications like respiratory problems and low birth weight,” said Dr Varshney, explaining that it can also lead to damage to liver, kidney failure, lung problems, seizures if the blood supply gets hampered in the brain.
Treatment and diagnosis
Preeclampsia can be diagnosed during regular prenatal visits to your medical practitioner. The healthcare provider can also order additional tests such as:
*Biophysical profile or nonstress test
The main treatment for it is to deliver the baby or manage the health condition till the baby can be delivered. This will depend on the severity, the gestational age of the baby and overall health. Following are the medications to treat severe preeclampsia:
*Antihypertensive drugs to lower blood pressure
*Corticosteroids to help in development of baby’s lungs before delivery
*Anticonvulsant medication to prevent seizures
Concluding, Dr Varshney said that various lifestyle changes such as exercise, yoga, meditation, reducing weight before pregnancy and relieving stress factors can prevent preeclampsia.