Dr. Lam shares how preeclampsia can affect a growing baby and if it can be prevented.
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The Effects of Preeclampsia on the Baby Well, depending on the severity of the disease, preeclampsia is marked by high blood pressure. If there’s high blood pressure then you can conceivably think that the pipes or the blood vessels that provide blood to the fetus to the placenta are clamped down and as a result, there’s decreased blood that goes through a smaller pipe. Thus babies of moms with preeclampsia can have trouble growing, something called intrauterine growth restriction, and they can also have low fluids, something called oligohydramnios. Additionally, if a mom has a severe enough type of preeclampsia where it necessitates delivery then you deal with the prematurity aspect for the baby. Well quite honestly, the best way to prevent preeclampsia is actually to start working on one’s health even before she gets pregnant. So a woman who is overweight ideally should embark upon a careful weight loss regimen. A woman who has known hypertension should take measures to reduce her hypertensive severity, for example, exercise, keeping to her medications and so forth. When they do become pregnant they need to be watched carefully by their doctor for evidence of preeclampsia and some of the things that might help is regular assessment of blood pressures, regular assessment of lab work to look for evidence of things such as HELLP syndrome and testing the urine for protein.