Maternity is the most prized phase in a woman's life. To-be-moms often feel that variations in the body are pointers of a new start. There are times when the would-be moms ignore signs of life-threatening pregnancy snags. Ignorance should not drive you to compromise on the best of your and baby's health.
Pregnancy complications are absolutely not unheard of during childbirth. One such is Preeclampsia. This is quite common but highly ignored pregnancy complication. This, in fact, puts both the mother and also the baby at risk. Preeclampsia changes blood flow from the mother to the placenta, resulting in an insufficient supply of oxygen and nutrients to the baby inside the womb. It typically discloses itself after the 20th week of pregnancy. Sometimes it can even be seen in the postpartum phase.
Preeclampsia is eventually categorized by high levels of protein in the urine and elevated blood pressure. Women with preeclampsia have also complained of sudden weight gain, visual disturbances, severe headaches, upper abdominal pain, or excessive swelling in feet, face, hands, and legs.
"Preeclampsia found in 8-10 percent of pregnant Indian women"
'The condition remains undertested in the first trimester of pregnancy. In the second trimester, clinicians rely on high BP and proteins in urine to make an initial diagnosis. Research published by the National Health Portal of India in 2016, confirms that preeclampsia is found in 8-10 percent of pregnant Indian women. The condition is a predecessor to other life-threatening conditions like eclampsia and HELLP Syndrome, in which case the only solution is preterm delivery of the baby (before the 32nd week of pregnancy).'
Eclampsia comprises of almost all the symptoms of preeclampsia. Additionally, it makes the condition worse with the onset of seizures.
Women with chronic hypertension, Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, kidney diseases and/or family history of preeclampsia are chiefly susceptible to such condition. Other recognized risk factors include an interval in pregnancy of more than 10 years, a late conception like pregnancy at 40 years (or above). Do you know that Preeclampsia may also show up in a twin pregnancy? However, this is more common in first-time pregnancy.
There is an indication that preeclampsia can also have the genetic predisposition, either due to the genetics of the baby or the mother's genetics. It is, as a result, indispensable for all expecting mothers to get screened for the disorder in the first trimester of their pregnancy. Preeclampsia, if it goes undiagnosed, can have grave insinuations on maternal health like postpartum hemorrhage, antepartum hemorrhage, acute renal failure, and stillbirths.
It is useful to know the tests for preeclampsia?
Fundamentally, there are two tests:
The first test is a screening called Preeclampsia Screen, done in the first trimester of pregnancy, between 11 to 13.6 weeks. The test uses three markers for Risk Stratification of developing preeclampsia in later pregnancy.
Serum Biomarkers (PAPP-A, Free beta HCG, and PLGF),
The second test, Preeclampsia Ratio, is to identify preeclampsia in women with high blood pressure after 20th week of pregnancy. The test uses a ratio of two biomarkers. If the ratio is high, prompt delivery is advised.