Category Archives: My well-being

Preclampsia: symptoms and risks

Preeclampsia can pose high complications during pregnancy as it is characterized by protein in urine and arterial hypertension. Approximately 5% of pregnant women have preeclampsia. This complication usually starts around week 37, even though it can also occur during or after giving birth. Preeclampsia can range from mild to severe, and even though symptoms are not always noticeable, it can be dangerous for you and your baby. The earlier you get preeclampsia in your pregnancy, the riskier it is for you and your baby. This is why it’s so important to have your doctor diagnose it promptly and give you the proper treatment and guidelines.Why is preeclampsia dangerous?

When you have preeclampsia, your blood vessels contract causing blood pressure to increase, and blood flow to other organs decrease. This is why organs like the brain and the liver could suffer severe damage. Decreased blood flow to the uterus could affect the baby. If you have severe preeclampsia, your baby could be born preterm, which could cause problems in some of your baby’s organs.

What are the symptoms?

Swelling during pregnancy is common. However, if you notice swelling with no apparent reason or too much swelling it could be a sign of preeclampsia. The most noticeable swelling can be seen around the eyes, face or feet. Swelling due to preeclampsia is usually accompanied by other symptoms like a headache, nausea, pain in the upper abdomen, and change in vision. However, not all women manifest these symptoms, or they could be confused with the usual pregnancy symptoms. This is why it’s so important that your doctor checks your status in each of your prenatal appointments.

What are some of the risk factors?

Preeclampsia is more common in women who are pregnant with their first child, women who have had chronic hypertension, women who have diabetes, obesity, lupus, kidney disease, women who are having twins, or who are younger than 20 years of age or older than 40. Remember to visit your doctor if you notice any symptom or signs of preeclampsia.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes developed during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester. Having gestational diabetes means that sugar is not properly metabolized by the body causing high blood sugar levels. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, gestational diabetes has a prevalence of 9.2%. This could affect your pregnancy and your baby’s health. There is no known cause for a woman to develop gestational diabetes, but it’s known that it’s related to insulin resistance, and it may have a genetic predisposition.

How can gestational diabetes affect your baby?

When you have gestational diabetes, your pancreas works harder than usual to produce insulin, but this won’t reduce the levels of sugar in your blood. The extra glucose in your bloodstream penetrates your placenta and causes your baby to produce more insulin. Then, the extra glucose in your baby’s blood turns into fat and could cause your baby to develop macrosomia, (larger than average birth weight). Macrosomia could lead to birth issues such as shoulder damage and trouble breathing.

If you’re pregnant and have gestational diabetes, be sure keep your sugar levels at bay as soon as possible. Be mindful of what you eat, exercise regularly, and follow your doctor’s instructions. Controlling your sugar levels could help prevent difficulties during pregnancy and keep your baby healthy. If you have gestational diabetes, your sugar levels will most likely go back to normal after giving birth. However, be sure to take care of your pregnancy symptoms early on to avoid preeclampsia, occurring in 10% to 30% of women with gestational diabetes. Don’t worry, though. What’s important is that you attend to all of your doctor’s appointments, control your diabetes, and follow every single one of the recommendations your doctor gives you in order to take care of your baby’s health.