Today is World Preeclampsia Day and I think it’s really important to spread awareness and share experiences about this condition as it is one of the leading causes of fetal and maternal death, especially when obstetricians don’t spend much time educating newly-pregnant women unless they have the complication. Throughout my pregnancy I was diagnosed with preeclampsia in my 3rd trimester. No one knows what the exact cause is, but it generally occurs when there’s a problem with the placenta which supplies oxygen to the baby. Preeclampsia affects only 5-8% of pregnancies in Australia each year, meaning only approx 10,000 of women are diagnosed with this complication, so I was pretty gutted when I found out I was now part of this statistic.
My symptoms included high blood pressure (some days it was 145/90), swelling and sudden weight gain (it wasn’t justttt all the hot chips I ate), but the worst thing is that some women don’t show any symptoms at all, and sometimes it’s sadly too late for baby and/or mum. Once diagnosed I got my blood pressure monitored every day and night at home, I was on medication, spent 3 days a week in hospital hooked up to a CTG machine with cords stuck all over my stomach monitoring Mia’s heart to make sure she was okay. This was definitely not how I imagined my pregnancy was going to go, but I was grateful that I was diagnosed before things got way out of control.
There’s no cure for preeclampsia, the only way to treat it by delivering the baby and removing the placenta from the body. After holding out as long as safely possible, I delivered at 37.5 weeks via elective caesarean, and I am forever thankful for my obstetrician, doctors and support team for making sure that my baby was delivered safely and that I was okay too. The human body is incredible, as soon as my affected placenta was out my blood pressure returned to normal immediately and it was like nothing even happened. It’s pretty scary to know that if a woman experiences preeclampsia or gestational diabetes during pregnancy, they’ll have an increased chance of developing cardiovascular disease later in life. So please spread more awareness about preeclampsia x #standbyherhri