Preeclampsia is a common condition during pregnancy characterized by very high blood pressure and the presence of proteins in urine, both of which are seen after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The blood pressure in the pregnant woman who had normal measure of blood pressure rises to as high as 140/90 mm of Hg. This condition may become very serious for both the mother and the baby. If left untreated, this condition can be life-threatening for both mother and the child.
The risk of developing this condition is high if:
- The blood pressure was high before pregnancy
- There is a history of preeclampsia or hypertension during earlier pregnancies
- There are other medical conditions like kidney diseases or diabetes
- The person has autoimmune disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
- The mother is older than 40-years-old
- It is a multiple pregnancy
- The person was overweight before pregnancy
The risk may be reduced by some simple methods like:
- Reduce the intake of salty foods to reduce the chances of high blood pressure. This in turn will reduce the risk of preeclampsia.
- Increase the intake of calcium-rich foods. Having adequate amounts of calcium through diet reduces the risk of high blood pressure and thus preeclampsia.
- Maintain optimum body weight. Adding excess weight during pregnancy also increases the chances of high blood pressure.
- Sleep on the left side of the body to increase the blood flow in the body.
- Consider taking magnesium sulphate prior to labor as it is supposed to reduce the risk of preeclampsia.
- Have foods containing the amino acid L-arginine to lower the risk.
- Include foods containing antioxidant vitamins after discussing with the doctor.
Go for all prenatal visits without fail if you have a high risk of developing this condition. This will help the doctor to monitor the blood pressure and other symptoms of preeclampsia. Ensure that you keep your body weight and blood pressure at optimum levels.