Can I avoid Preeclampsia?

preeclampsiaDear Aunty Tina, My good friend ended up having a cesarean because she was diagnosed with preeclampsia at the end of her pregnancy. Is there any way to avoid preeclampsia?

I’m sorry to hear that, but I have to say that a cesarean birth may have been the best solution to help save mom and baby. Preeclampsia is a disorder that only occurs during pregnancy, is more common with the first born and is a condition that is hopefully preventable with diet. Prevention is the key preferably with a diet with 90 grams of protein a day and lots of clean fresh water. For protein you can include lots of lean meats, eggs, Tempe, lentils, almond butter and dark leafy greens into your meal plans. I particularly like the Brewer diet recommended by Dr. Tom Brewer.

You can be more susceptible to preeclampsia if it runs in your family, you are diabetic or have a kidney disorder, expecting multiple babies, over 40 or under 18, and or have chronic hypertension (high blood pressure).

Unfortunately, preeclampsia is a sign that the liver is being maxed out, the kidneys are having a hard time and consequently the heart can shut down. It is very important that you know the warning signs so you can get help right away. It can be detected with protein in the urine, which is why your midwife or nurse will take a urine sample at your prenatal visits, high blood pressure – another measurement that is routinely taken, blurring/pressure behind the eyes and or severe headaches (call your health care provider if this is happening straight away), edema – swelling especially if in the face and or sudden weight gain.

As well as breaking down your organs, there is the potential threat that your placenta may be challenged and peel away from the uterine wall. This is why an emergency c-section may be the only solution to save your baby.

This is a good question. I recommend that every pregnant mother learn about preeclampsia. A good website ran by the Preeclampsia Foundation can be found at www.preeclampsia.org

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Tina Garzero CPM, LMT. practiced midwifery for 40 years and lived on Maui for over 35 Years. She was the mother to 9 children and lived in Haiku. She is the heart of the Mauimama and will be sorely missed. (Tina Garzero 1951-2015). We love you Tina. This website is dedicated to Tina's life and service on Maui.