Preeclamsia is a condition wherein a pregnant woman experiences elevated blood pressure late in her pregnancy – usually after 20 weeks or so. Although the condition is known to have no definite cause, experts link it with poor nutrition, high body fat or inadequate blood supply to the uterus. Women who have a history of high blood pressure or preeclamsia, those suffering ailments like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or obesity are more susceptible to the condition. Some of the most common symptoms would include headaches, abdominal pain, nausea, weight gain among others.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, apart from associated medication, proper nutrition and a well-balanced diet may help treat the condition better. The following points must be kept in mind.
1. Since the condition is primarily associated with high blood pressure it is better to keep a check on your salt intake and regulate it.
2. Hydration is important. Drink plenty of water along with other natural fluids like coconut water.
3. Fried and junk food should be off limits.
4. Caffeine intake must be monitored.
5. Avoid smoking or alcohol consumption completely.
6. Rest properly and get regular physical activity.
A recently published study has happened to have established a link between aspirin consumption with significantly decreased risk of developing preeclampsia. “The results show that aspirin can prevent preeclampsia in high risk pregnancies. We hope that this will alter clinical practice and improve pregnancy outcomes for mothers and their babies,” added David Wright, Professor at University of Exeter.
Preeclampsia is a potentially dangerous pregnancy complication characterised by high blood pressure, swollen feet, ankles and face and severe headaches. The findings showed that women who took low-dose aspirin (150 mg) in their first trimester of pregnancy showed a 62% decrease in the rate of pre-term preeclampsia that results in delivery before 37 weeks.
According to the World Health Organization, low-dose aspirin may help prevent preeclampsia in women at high risk and should be started before 20 weeks of pregnancy.