I have noticed with concern how invisible pre-eclampsia can be when talking with some friends, who have stated that it was until the seventh month of pregnancy that they learned that they had this disease, which led them to premature births and put their lives at risk. So it is worth asking, were their doctors not the right ones? Were there any signs that went unnoticed? What can we do to prevent this disease?
What is pre-eclampsia?
To begin we will define what is preeclampcia. This disease appears only during pregnancy and is characterized by increases in blood pressure that can cause the loss of the baby and even the death of the mother, this being the third cause of maternal death in the world, according to the World Health Organization .
Symptoms of Preeclampsia
In most cases women do not feel anything strange that could put them on notice during their pregnancy. In the case of pre-eclampsia, its symptoms usually appear after the first 20 weeks, but are often so subtle that it is difficult to notice them
This is one of the great keys , the first thing you should know is that its normal value must be 140/90 , therefore in each query it must be taken and if there is any change, act immediately. In addition, you can have a blood pressure monitor at home and keep your record at home, although these devices are not 100% accurate.
You must be aware of the color of your urine, if you notice it very dark or reddish, talk to your doctor so that he can do an examination to rule out that there are proteins in the urine, if you have them, it is an indication of pre-eclampsia.
It is normal for you to retain some fluid while pregnant, but if you notice that your face, eyes, hands and feet are more swollen than normal, see your doctor . We advise you to make a comparison with a photograph or video before pregnancy. Another way to know if it is pre-eclampsia is by digging into the swollen area with your finger, if it takes time to return to its normal state and changes color, it may be that pre-eclampsia has appeared. You should go to your doctor immediately.
Radical weight gain
It is normal for every woman who is pregnant to gain weight, but always with a healthy diet and an exercise routine. But if this increase is very abrupt, it may be that too much fluids are retained , a sign of the condition. The best thing is that you keep track of your weight, write it down, and in case of a variant, while maintaining the same diet and routine, make an appointment with your specialist.
If after the first trimester of pregnancy you continue or nausea and vomiting appear , take precautions and consult your doctor.
Maybe you think it is heartburn or indigestion, but if you feel abdominal pain that radiates from the right side to the shoulder , this is a sign that you should warn your specialist.
It is just as intense as a migraine headache and is a symptom of high blood pressure.
Seeing flashes, aura, having blurred vision or blind spots , could be a serious indication of pre-eclampsia. Do not let it pass for any reason and go immediately to a hospital.
Recommendations to prevent preeclampsia
The recommendation for all women who are pregnant is to do their monthly medical check-ups, eat well with a balanced diet and exercise, in this way many complications can be avoided.
Preeclampsia is one of the leading causes of maternal death worldwide . Currently, the WHO recommends the administration of calcium supplements for the prevention of this discomfort. These recommendations are an important first step in preventing disorders.
There are no current recommendations on the best time of day to take calcium supplements. However, calcium is better absorbed when supplements are taken in smaller doses (<500 mg) divided, for example, in the morning and evening , rather than taking the full dose in one sitting.
Calcium comes in several forms, and the best choice among the types of calcium supplements depends on consumer preferences and the balance between cost concerns and the ease of supplementation.
Calcium carbonate and calcium malate citrate have few side effects and are well absorbed . There are other types of calcium supplements on the market as well, but most of these are less absorbed, or less is known about their side effects in pregnant women.
Calcium carbonate is cheaper and less bulky than calcium citrate malate (that is, the pills can be made smaller) but its absorption may be less than that of calcium citrate malate if it is not taken at meal times.