Yes, it doesn't sound like much of a party and one thing is for sure: it isn't! Pregnancy poisoning is the result of too hypertension and takes serious consequences for mother and child. With this blog we want to make you aware of this pregnancy sickness and how you can recognize and cure it. With this knowledge, you will be aware of your blood pressure from now on and that you should raise the alarm if certain symptoms occur. Say no to high blood pressure, and you'll know exactly why after reading this blog.
What is preeclampsia?
We'll get right to the point: preeclampsia is caused by excessive blood pressure - also known as gestational hypertension. Preeclampsia can come on gradually or come on suddenly. It often occurs after the twentieth week of pregnancy, but can also occur up to eight days after delivery. There are four forms, namely: gestational hypertension, pre-eclampsia, HELLP syndrome and eclampsia (Gezondheidsplein, z.d.). All four are explained below.
Cause of preeclampsia
The exact cause is not known (yet). It could be hereditary or it could be due to the development of the placenta. We do know that the risk of preeclampsia is increased when the mother suffers from diabetes, vascular and kidney disease, autoimmune disease or has suffered from high blood pressure in the past. The risk of preeclampsia is greater in first or multiple pregnancies (UZ Leuven, s.d.).
The four forms explained
Zwangancy hypertension - when the woman has hypertension due to pregnancy. Do: Visit your doctor or gynecologist regularly for a checkup.
Pre-eclampsia (toxicosis) - means that in addition to high blood pressure, the woman also loses protein through the urine. As a result, the placenta cannot provide all the nutrients the baby needs, and therefore he and his organs do not grow as well. Complaints: headache, tingling fingers, nausea, blurred vision, fluid accumulation and protein loss through urine. Do: Contact your family doctor or gynecologist. Pre-eclampsia often requires hospitalization.
HELLP syndrome- derived from English: Hemolysis (blood breakdown), Elevated Liver enzymes (liver function disorders) and Low Platelets (decreased platelet count). This also involves high blood pressure, protein loss through the urine and fluid accumulation that can cause the baby to have stunted growth. Complaints: headache, nausea, pain in the abdomen and ligament pain. Do: Contact your family doctor or gynecologist. HELLP syndrome always requires hospitalization.
Eclampsia - This is the most serious form and poses a life threat to both mother and child. Eclampsia manifests as convulsions, similar to an epileptic seizure. This form of preeclampsia can occur before, during and after delivery and is caused by very high blood pressure and vascular problems in the cerebral cortex. Complaints: Irritable, increased reflexes, ligament pain, headaches, tingling hands, edema, seeing stars or flashes and protein in the urine. Do: urgently contact your family doctor or gynecologist. Eclampsia should always be treated in the hospital (Gezondheidsplein, s.d.).
You probably won't get very happy reading this blog. There is always a chance that preeclampsia will occur during or after pregnancy. With this blog we want to make you aware of the various symptoms so that - should it occur in your case - you can be helped quickly. Because the sooner treated, the better for mother and child!
Health Square. (s.d.). Preeclampsia. Accessed September 7, 2021, from https://www.gezondheidsplein.nl/aandoeningen/zwangerschapsvergiftiging/item40200+https://www.uzleuven.be/nl/gynaecologie-en-verloskunde/verloskunde/zwangerschap/verwikkelingen-en-behandelingen/zwangerschapsvergiftiging
UZ Leuven. (s.d.). Preeclampsia. UZ Leuven. Consulted on September 7, 2021, from https://www.uzleuven.be/nl/gynaecologie-en-verloskunde/verloskunde/zwangerschap/verwikkelingen-en-behandelingen/zwangerschapsvergiftiging