Preeclampsia is a complication that develops during pregnancy or after giving birth. It is characterized by high blood pressure, swelling of the hands and legs, and the presence of proteins in the blood. The condition will typically occur during the 20th week of pregnancy, but in some cases, it starts earlier or after delivery. There is a possibility of this complication progressing to a case of eclampsia. As a result, the mother begins to experience seizures, putting her life and that of the child at risk. In rare cases, the occurrence of eclampsia leads to death.
First, the patient experiences changes in their vision due to irritation of the central nervous system. There may be temporary loss of sight, sensitivity to light, or blurred vision. The second symptom is a sudden change in one’s weight. Typically, a person will gain weight due to the increase in bodily fluids. Thirdly, a person experiences pain in the right upper abdomen, just under the ribs. The fourth symptom of this complication is thrombocytopenia, which leads to prolonged bleeding from cuts (Mayrink et al., 2018). It occurs when there are low platelet levels in a person’s blood. Fifthly, an individual will have severe headaches due to changes occurring in the brain. Unlike migraines, symptoms such as abdominal pains and blurry vision will accompany the headaches. Lastly, the mother will have trouble breathing due to fluid filling the lungs. Regular checkups are necessary for pregnant women since this condition might occur without any symptoms.
The recommended treatment for this complication is delivering the baby. If the pregnancy exceeds 37 weeks, the doctor can induce labor. At that time, the baby is developed and not premature. If the condition occurs before 37 weeks, the doctor will decide on the optimal time for the delivery. Factors such as the baby’s gestational stage, the severity of the condition, and the presence of labor will influence the doctor’s decision.
There are cases where the doctor will not choose delivery as a treatment for this complication. First, it is when the baby is not close to term. The physician offers medication to the mother until the baby develops. Secondly, it is when preeclampsia is mild and does not have any severe features. Treatment in such instances will include medication to lower blood pressure levels and prevent seizures. In addition to the medication, the doctor can prescribe bed rest for the mother at home. There is also careful monitoring of the fetal heart rate to determine the health of the baby. The doctor may opt to admit the mother to the hospital for close monitoring.
The best approach to prevent the occurrence of preeclampsia is by having frequent checkups during pregnancy (Mayrink et al., 2018). Checkups offer an opportunity to bring up any issues affecting the mother. Additionally, there are other ways of reducing the risk of developing this complication. The mother should ensure she adheres to a healthy diet. That will include watching caloric consumption and avoiding processed foods. It is also critical for the mother to exercise regularly. Participating in 30 minutes of moderate physical activity will help reduce the risk of preeclampsia. Pregnant women with chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, need to consult with a doctor frequently. That will ease health management and lower the risk of preeclampsia.
In summary, it is critical to keep the mother and baby healthy during pregnancy. Therefore, having regular checkups will help lower the risk of preeclampsia. If this complication occurs, a physician is critical in its management or treatment. The doctor can also opt to refer the mother to a specialist who will offer additional care. Early detection of preeclampsia eases its management and prevents complications during pregnancy. That is because the doctor will make the best choices for the mother and baby.
Mayrink, J., Costa, M. L., & Cecatti, J. G. (2018). Preeclampsia in 2018: Revisiting concepts, Physiopathology, and prediction. The Scientific World Journal, 2018, 1-9. Web.