Why Preeclampsia Is a Problem Even After a Woman Gives Birth

Published on October 29th, 2018

In the second or third trimester of pregnancy, women can experience preeclampsia, a condition that involves dangerously high blood pressure. Preeclampsia is not only a threat to expectant mothers and their babies during the baby’s development. According to new research, this pregnancy complication can affect a woman later in life, decades after she has given birth.

Understanding Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is a precursor to eclampsia, a condition in which a mother has seizures during or shortly after giving birth. Preeclampsia makes blood vessels constrict, resulting in a decrease in oxygen and nutrients to the vital organs. Without early diagnosis and careful monitoring, the condition could lead to premature birth and other life-threatening situations.

Part of quality prenatal care includes monitoring a mother for signs of preeclampsia, also known as toxemia, to help prevent the condition from developing. Urine and blood pressure are tested at regular prenatal visits and these simple tests offer red flags about preeclampsia – a high blood pressure reading or protein in the urine.

A woman’s risk factors for preeclampsia should already been known to the doctor, as women who are older, have chronic health problems, or a personal or family history of preeclampsia are at greater likelihood of developing the condition.

The only cure for preeclampsia is to deliver the baby, but premature birth is a risk too. Managing the symptoms of preeclampsia can help a mother carry the baby for as long as possible and prevent preeclampsia from worsening. A woman who is showing risk factors may be placed on bed rest, given a strict diet to follow, or prescribed safe medications. In some cases, hospitalization is necessary.

Why Preeclampsia Remains a Threat to a Woman’s Health

Mothers who develop preeclampsia but go on to deliver a fully developed, healthy baby and have no complications themselves breathe a sigh of relief. Research, however, has found a link between preeclampsia and a higher risk of developing dementia later in life.

A Danish study followed 1.1 million women, 58,000 of whom developed preeclampsia. Their findings: Preeclampsia doubled the risk for vascular dementia and quadrupled the risk for women over the age of 65. Of course, other conditions are part of the equation, including ongoing high blood pressure problems, a high BMI, and risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Taking good care of yourself, lowering your blood pressure, and keeping weight within a normal range are important for all adults but especially for women who at one point suffered with preeclampsia.

Patients trust their doctors to provide them with a standard of care. When this care is not delivered, it can lead to disastrous consequences. If you have suffered from a mismanaged pregnancy infection because of a preventable pregnancy complication, or your child has been hurt because of substandard prenatal care, contact Thurswell Law for a free consultation. You have the right to compensation for pain and suffering. We do not charge any fees unless you collect. Call (248) 354-2222 today to schedule your consultation.

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