How To Protect Yourself From Preeclampsia & Make For A More Comfortable Delivery
Even if you've never actually been pregnant, you probably know that a lot of it is downright uncomfortable. Morning sickness, heartburn, and back pain are just a few of Mother Nature's ways to remind you that you're carrying another life around in your belly for the next nine months. But if you have been diagnosed with preeclampsia, things can be a lot more serious. As a result, you need to know how to protect yourself from preeclampsia and prevent a very dangerous situation for yourself and your baby.
Preeclampsia affects between five to eight percent of pregnancies, according to the American Pregnancy Association. As stated in What to Expect When You're Expecting, the condition develops in an expectant mom around week 20 of her pregnancy. Some symptoms of preeclampsia include severe headaches, high blood pressure, and swelling of the face and hands. Most cases result in healthy births, but if the condition is left untreated, preeclampsia can result in damage to the placenta, low birth weight, and damage to the mother's liver and kidneys.
As the American Academy of Family Physicians states, there is currently no proven way to prevent preeclampsia. But with proper medical care and a few lifestyle changes, you will be able to prevent dangerous medical consequences and deliver a healthy, happy baby.
1. Keep Track Of Your Blood Pressure
According to WebMD, expectant mothers should keep a close eye on their blood pressure throughout their pregnancy, particularly if they had high blood pressure before they were pregnant.
2. Watch Your Weight
Don't use your pregnancy as an excuse to pig out. Being overweight can put you at risk for preeclampsia. As a result, Dr. Andrew Weil suggests eating a healthy, balanced diet as a way to be sure you are gaining a healthy amount of weight while pregnant.
3. Take A Low Dose Aspirin
Mothers who have experienced preeclampsia in previous pregnancies may be advised to take a daily low dose aspirin — between 60 and 81 milligrams — as the Mayo Clinic recommends.
4. Watch Your Diet
Staying away from salt and fried foods can help you manage your weight and blood pressure, and reduce the risk of preeclampsia, according to Fit Pregnancy.
5. Take It Easy
According to Baby Center, moms who are diagnosed with preeclampsia should limit their physical activity. This will allow their blood pressure to remain as low as possible.
6. Drink Lots Of Water
Although drinking lots of water is important during every pregnancy, it is especially important for an expectant mom with preeclampsia to drink at least eight glasses of water every day, according to The New York Times.
7. Take A Calcium Supplement
According to the World Health Organization, taking a calcium supplement can help reduce the risks of preeclampsia and other disorders caused by elevated blood pressure.
8. Visit Your Doctor
According to the Mayo Clinic, if you have been diagnosed with preeclampsia, it's important to allow your doctor to keep a close eye on your condition, with more frequent blood tests and ultrasounds.
9. Elevate Your Feet
The American Pregnancy Association recommends elevating your feet several times throughout the day to relieve swelling.