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Straight Talk About Toxemia

High blood pressure. Itís a serious condition demanding treatment and vigilance whenever itís discovered. But when it occurs during pregnancy, it is especially dangerous. It is estimated that seven out of every 100 pregnant women develop high blood pressureóbetter known as preeclampsia or toxemiaóduring pregnancy.

No one knows exactly what causes preeclampsia or why some women develop it, although certain groups of women are at higher risk than others: those in their teens and over 40, women who are overweight, or have hypertension or diabetes. Preeclampsia is also more common in first pregnancies.

The symptoms of preeclampsia usually begin after the 21st week of pregnancy and include swelling of the feet and face, slight dizziness and light-headedness. Other signs of preeclampsia may include a sudden weight gain of more than two pounds a week, headaches or visual problems.

Why is preeclampsia so dangerous? It can adversely affect both mother and baby. Untreated, it may damage the motherís kidneys, brain, eyes and liver and may weaken the heart. It may also cause internal bleeding. If the blood pressure rises to a very high level, seizures may resultóat this point the condition is called eclampsiaóand could be fatal to mother or baby.

If it is not treated, preeclampsia can cause the baby to be smaller than normal, to be delivered prematurely, and, in very severe cases, to be stillborn. Why? Because preeclampsia causes arteries throughout the motherís body to constrict, decreasing the motherís blood flow to the placenta and reducing the amount of food and oxygen reaching the baby. As a result, the babyís growth slows down.

How can you protect yourself and your baby from the effects of preeclampsia? See your doctor for regular prenatal check-ups throughout your pregnancy. He or she will measure your blood pressure and test your urine for signs of preeclampsia and begin treatment immediately if there is a problem. Early intervention is essential. In mild or early stages, preeclampsia can be controlled.

Treatment includes complete bed rest, a low-salt, high-protein diet and medication. In most cases, once treatment begins, symptoms reverse almost immediately and there is rapid recovery.

Angel, found this info for you....Val had it at the end of her pg with Becca and they induced her. All she had was minor swelling and high blood pressure even though hers is mostly lower than normal. Hope this helps and if need be, call your doc. Take care sweetie :wave:Chris





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