Pregnant women know that carrying a child for nine months comes with many uncomfortable changes. From the swellings to the vomiting, aches, pains, and the bodily change they experience.
While those body changes may be regular and expected, some pregnancy symptoms can usher in health problems like preeclampsia. Preeclampsia commonly occurs in pregnant women when the pregnancy is about 20 weeks.
It involves high blood pressure, protein in the urine, swelling in the hands and feet, blurry vision, shortness of breath, etc. For some women, preeclampsia may choose to come after childbirth. However, the most important thing is to know the signs and treat them immediately.
What are the first signs of Preeclampsia?
High Blood Pressure
This comes first on the list, so you will prioritise monitoring your blood pressure during pregnancy. When your blood pressure rises to 140/90mmHg or higher repeatedly, it could hint at preeclampsia. The best way to monitor this sign is by taking notes of your blood pressure readings during prenatal and postnatal visits. Also, get a blood pressure machine that can help you monitor your readings at home.
Asides from the monitoring, do yourself the good of getting enough rest. Bed rest reduces the chances of high blood pressure, so get to it.
Proteinuria(Protein in urine)
During prenatal visits, your doctor can check the protein level in your urine using a urine dipstick test. Also, if you want to do it yourself, you can get these kits at home, if it reads +1 or more, it could indicate the advent of proteinuria. When preeclampsia affects your kidney, it weakens its ability to filter protein from the blood when it spills into the urine.
This is normal for every pregnant woman. However, if you notice fluids gathering around your eyes or any part of your face and in your hands, you should see your physician. This swelling sometimes comes with discolouration that stays on the skin, after pressure has been applied.
Most women experience this during their first trimester. But nausea and vomiting become a concern when it returns after the first trimester. We will encourage you to see your doctor and conduct urine tests to ascertain the reason for nausea properly.
If you experience severe headaches that come with pain similar to migraine, then you should call your physician. Persistent headaches could be a preeclampsia indicator.
Changes in vision such as sensations of flashing lights, and extreme sensitivity to light, could be preeclampsia symptoms. If this happens repeatedly, you should inform your doctor during your prenatal visits.
Other signs of preeclampsia include shortness of breath which may be closely related to high blood pressure, sudden weight gain, and abdominal or body pains. These signs can be accurately monitored by staying accountable to your physician, eating healthy, staying hydrated, and engaging in simple exercises.