How to Prevent Preeclampsia

Developing usually after the 20th week of pregnancy, preeclampsia leads to the abnormal development of the placenta with problems like hypertension and excess protein in the urine. Also called toxemia, it can cause water retention, organ malfunction, abdominal pain, and other pregnancy related complications. It can lead to life-threatening complications, which is why it's important to prevent preeclampsia. Is it really possible? Let's find out now.

How to Prevent Preeclampsia

Unfortunately, there is no single way to prevent preeclampsia from developing, but you can take steps to lower your risk. Treatment options are quite limited too, so it makes sense to learn whatever you can do to prevent preeclampsia.

1. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight

Medical experts believe that you should reach a healthy body weight before you try to become pregnant. Ideally, your BMI should be around 19-25, but anything under 30 is acceptable. Eating a well-balanced diet and getting into a good physical shape prior to conceiving will also lower the risk of developing preeclampsia and many other pregnancy complications.

2. Exercise Regularly

Getting regular exercise before and during pregnancy lowers inflammation in the body. At the same time, it helps maintain a healthy body weight and reduces stress as well. You should exercise at a moderate intensity though to enjoy a healthy pregnancy and prevent pregnancy complications, including preeclampsia.

3. Maintain a Well-Balanced Diet to Prevent Hypertension

Wondering how to prevent preeclampsia? What you eat matters, a lot! You should eat plenty of minerals, vitamins, and high-antioxidant foods before you decide to conceive. This helps prepare your body for pregnancy. Lowering your salt intake and adding more potassium-rich foods in your diet will also help lower the risk of developing hypertension. You will be at an increased risk of developing preeclampsia if you already have a history of high blood pressure. Just be sure to eat healthy food, include plenty of veggies and fruits in your diet, and eat fresh food with high amounts of electrolytes for a healthy pregnancy. At the same time, avoid high-sugar snacks, packaged foods, fried foods, and artificial additives. Lowering the amount of protein in your diet may also help in certain cases.

4. Prevent Fatigue and Dehydration

Be sure to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and fatigue. Water helps maintain levels of sodium in your diet. At the same time, you should limit the intake of alcoholic and caffeinated drinks. Stop drinking alcohol, if possible, and be sure to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. To prevent fatigue, it also helps to take relaxing breaks throughout the day, which will also help reduce stress. Stretching, meditation, and breathing exercises also help relieve stress.

5. Do Not Miss Doctor Appointments

Be sure to keep up with doctor visits after you know you are pregnant. These visits will help identify any abnormalities early in your pregnancy. You will also get to know of any risk factors that increase your chances of getting PE. These visits become even more important when you have existing conditions, such as hypertensive disorders, etc. Even when everything seems fine in the beginning, you should still never ignore the importance of regular parental visits. Your doctor will explain how to prevent preeclampsia and have a healthy pregnancy.

6. Take Aspirin

Though you should talk to your doctor first, taking low-dose aspirin may help lower your risk of preeclampsia. Your doctor is more likely to recommend aspirin therapy if you have had preeclampsia in one or more pregnancies in the past. You may have to take 60-81mg of aspirin, beginning by the end of your first trimester.

7. Take Calcium Supplements

Women who have calcium deficiency before they conceive or do not get enough calcium during pregnancy are more likely to develop preeclampsia. If that is the case with you, your doctor may recommend calcium supplements to lower your risk.

8. Improve Magnesium Intake

Increasing your magnesium intake during pregnancy may help lower risks of preeclampsia. Some of the best magnesium rich foods are nuts, leafy green veggies, fish, seeds, nuts, lentils, beans, and avocadoes. Using an external magnesium spray or taking a bath in Epsom salts may also help. You may also benefit from magnesium citrate supplements. Increasing your magnesium intake may also help make morning sickness more manageable – it also helps relieve cramps, restless legs, and sciatica. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.

Watch Out for Signs of Preeclampsia

Knowing how to prevent preeclampsia really helps, but it is important to seek medical assistance as soon as you notice any symptoms of this condition. Monitoring your blood pressure throughout your pregnancy will always help. You need to see your doctor if you notice your blood pressure constantly higher than 140/90 mmHg. Here are some other signs to watch out for:

  • Presence of high levels of protein in your urine or other signs of kidney problems
  • Impaired liver function with severe headaches
  • Vision changes, including light sensitivity, blurred vision, and temporary loss of vision
  • Abdominal pain, especially under your ribs
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Decreased urine output
  • Low levels of platelets
  • Shortness of breath

When to See a Doctor

You are more likely to have preeclampsia if you have any of the abovementioned symptoms with swelling in your hands and face. While these are not always the most reliable signs, they indicate a problem. You should see your doctor for further evaluation. You should seek immediate medical attention if you have blurred vision, severe headaches, severe abdominal pain, or shortness of breath. It is more common to experience symptoms such as nausea, headaches, and aches, but you should not ignore them when there are other problems as well. Take them more seriously if it is your first pregnancy. 

 
 
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