HOW TO PREVENT TOXAEMIA IN PREGNANCY

 

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Toxaemia is a condition that arises only during pregnancy,  also popularly known as pre-eclampsia.  I have a previous post on High blood pressure in pregnancy in pregnancy and the various types of high blood pressure in pregnancy.

Pre eclampsia is one of the types of high blood pressure in pregnancy, it can lead to eclampsia or kidney damage over time. It is usually screened for during each antenatal visit (this is why antenatal visits are very important) by checking your blood pressure and testing your urine for proteins.

It is common for first-time mums and can happen at any time in the second half of pregnancy, during labor or even up to six weeks after delivery. I used to think that pre-eclampsia only occurred during pregnancy till I heard of stories of women who didn’t have pre-eclampsia throughout pregnancy until after labor and delivery, and some who develop during labor hence it can occur anytime.

It can become very severe quickly and sometimes it progresses slowly, if left untreated it can lead to dangerous health problems for you and your baby.

It can become very severe quickly and sometimes it progresses slowly, if left untreated it can lead to dangerous health problems for you and your baby.

HOW WOULD I KNOW IT IS PRE-ECLAMPSIA?

Some of the common signs of pre-eclampsia include:

  1. Swelling of the legs, sometimes puffiness of the eyes, swollen hands such that wearing your wedding band becomes so tight and uncomfortable
  2. Severe or a persistent headache.
  3. The presence of protein in the urine.
  4. High blood pressure.
  5. Weight gain
  6. Other signs would include vision changes including double vision, blurriness, light sensitivity, Intense pain tenderness in the upper abdomen. Nausea and vomiting, difficulty in breathing.

WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT PRE-ECLAMPSIA?

  • Ensure you don’t miss antenatal appointments. It is usually detected by your midwife during the routine antenatal check-up.
  • Avoid excessive salt intake.
  • Avoid  getting stressed as much as possible, stress can cause blood pressure to increase.
  • You can check your blood pressure by yourself at home if you have access to a digital blood pressure machine weekly to ensure you blood pressure is below 130/90mmhg, if you detect an elevated blood pressure rest for 30 minutes and check again if it is consistent call your midwife or doctor immediately to alert them of what you noticed.

Note: not all women with pre-eclampsia have swellings in the legs or rapid weight gain and not all women with rapid weight gain have pre-eclampsia.

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