What is Pre-Eclampsia in pregnancy?
Pre-eclampsia is a condition that affects some pregnant women usually during the second half of pregnancy (from around 20 weeks) or immediately after birth of their baby.
Women with pre-eclampsia have the following symptoms:
high blood pressure
fluid retention (oedema)
protein in the urine (proteinuria)
thinning of blood (coagulopathy) & Liver dysfunction
If left untreated can lead to serious complications. In the unborn baby, pre-eclampsia can cause growth problems.
What Causes Pre-Eclampsia?
Although the exact cause of pre-eclampsia is not known, it is thought to occur when there is a problem with the placenta (the organ that links the baby’s blood supply to the mother’s). Pregnant women with pre-eclampsia may not realise they have it.
Pre-eclampsia is usually diagnosed during routine antenatal appointments. Mild pre-eclampsia can be monitored with blood pressure and urine tests at regular antenatal appointments and usually disappears soon after the birth.
What are the Risk Factors for Pre -Clampsia :-
Maternal age > 40 years old
Last pregnancy > 10 years ago
Family History of Pre-Eclampsia
Heightened Risk Factors :
High blood pressure prior to pregnancy (Hypertension)
High blood pressure during a previous pregnancy
Chronic Kidney disease, Diabetes or inflammatory disease (effects the immune system) ie Lupus
New evidence suggests you can reduce your risk of Pre-Eclampsia in pregnancy by Increasing your calcium intake and taking regular low-dose Aspirin.
Factor to consider before taking Apsirin
**Always consult you obstetrician or carer giver before
Usual Dose 100-150 mg per day, taken at night
Aspirin treatment usually commences early in the pregnancy around 12 to 16 weeks gestation and ceased at 37 weeks gestation.
Women with pre-existing Asthma diagnosis may find Aspirin could trigger Asthma
Side effects can include heartburn and reflux
Women with history of bleeding disorders or low platelets
Factors to consider increasing Calcium intake
*Always consult you obstetrician or care giver
prior to commencing any new medication
this includes multivitamins**
Increasing Calcium is primarily done via dietary changes such as;
Pink Salmon & canned fish
leafy green vegetables
If Calcium increase cannot be met via dietary changes a Calcium supplement may be prescribed from 20 weeks gestation
If you have questions about taking Aspirin or calcium or have questions about Pre clampsia and you pregnancy , Dr Saj Rathnayake’s patients can contact our rooms via the link or by phoning 03 5222 5585