What is Postpartum Preeclampsia?
Postpartum preeclampsia is considered quite rare. This condition is characterized by very high blood pressure and excessive amounts of protein in the urine. Typically, the symptoms of postpartum preeclampsia are apparent in the first 2 days after childbirth, although the disease can develop even in pregnant women. However, in medical practice, there have been cases where signs of preeclampsia appeared at the 6th week after childbirth. In such situations, the term late postpartum preeclampsia is used.
This pathology is very dangerous and requires rapid treatment. In the most severe cases surgical intervention may be required, but in most situations medication treatment will do. It is not recommended to ignore the pathology, because if left unchecked, it can lead to serious complications.
Such a nuisance as postpartum preeclampsia is difficult to detect without appropriate diagnostic measures. This disease can begin to develop in pregnant women even during childbearing, but it will not manifest itself by any suspicious signs, at least for a while.
If the problem did not originate in the first 2 days after birth of the baby, the young mother might not notice some symptoms, because all her attention will be focused on caring for the newborn. Over time, however, when the condition worsens significantly, it will be impossible to do without qualified assistance.
Postpartum preeclampsia can manifest itself by such troubles as high blood pressure, excess protein in urine, migraine and headache, vision problems, that at the time leads to complete loss of sight, sensitivity to bright light, pain in the upper abdomen, vomiting, nausea and problems with urination. The young mother can identify the pathology by a dramatic weight gain. Typically, with postpartum preeclampsia a woman is gaining up to a kilo a week.
If there is even the slightest suspicion on the development of such a disease, there is an urgent need to see a specialist. Eclampsia and preeclampsia need urgent medical care.
Causes of Pathology and Diagnosis
The doctors cannot give the exact answer to the question about the causes of the development of the disease. Experts believe that the disease can develop in pregnant women, but often the symptoms manifest themselves only after the birth of the baby.
Young moms who during gestation of the baby had blood pressure problems, i.e. suffered hypertension and obesity, are at risk. In addition, mothers who have had a Cesarean operation should take particular care of their health.
Postpartum preeclampsia may not manifest itself by special outward signs, therefore women are often not even aware of this problem. However, with the deterioration of health the young mothers are left with no alternative, but to immediately consult a doctor. If the doctor notices signs of pathology, he must prescribe a number of measures to confirm the diagnosis.
The problem can be determined by a blood test that will give the opportunity to watch the quality of functioning of liver and kidneys, as well as take into account the number of platelets in the body. In addition, urine test must be prescribed to determine the level of protein. With postpartum preeclampsia this indicant will be significantly increased.
The symptoms of this disease can be eliminated with the help of medicines. Primarily a doctor must prescribe anticonvulsants, which include magnesium sulfate. The first time after taking this medication the patient will be under the supervision of a specialist. At the same time, control over blood pressure and urination is exercised. Depending on these parameters the dose of magnesium sulfate will increase or decrease.
In addition to anticonvulsants, medications to help lower high blood pressure are used. Experts strongly recommend not to use popular drugs against hypertension. They may not be suitable for the specific case and can bring even more harm than good.
Decongestants, antioxidants and enterosorbents can be used. Both in pregnant women and women during the post-natal period there are sudden mood swings and unstable emotional background, and if you experience this serious health problem, the situation may dramatically worsen. For a young mother to survive a difficult period much easier, sedatives are prescribed for the time of treatment.
Experts recommend to the patient to maintain normal water balance. You should not limit yourself in useful fluid, but its excessive quantity may be harmful. This is especially true when it comes to preeclampsia after childbirth.
Young mothers who have experienced eclampsia and preeclampsia should remember that this pathology can develop relapse. Usually this happens in 4-6 months after the birth of the baby.