Preeclampsia can occur after the 20th week of pregnancy and disappear during the first 12 weeks of postpartum. It is dangerous for both mother and baby.
This condition, according to the babycenter.com website, causes the blood vessels to constrict, resulting in high blood pressure and decreasing blood flow to the uterus, which can affect organs of the mother’s body, such as the liver, kidneys and brain, and it is likely that the baby will have growth problems, little amniotic fluid and premature detachment of the placenta (separation from the uterine wall before delivery).
It is usually diagnosed when there is high blood pressure accompanied by symptoms such as headache, abdominal pain, shortness of breath and noticeable changes in vision. However, the symptoms may vary from one woman to another, and they are also confused with normal discomforts of pregnancy, particularly in its initial stage.
The risk factors of this condition are age, ethnic group (black), primiparity (first child), twin pregnancy, changes in amniotic fluid, vascular disorders, inheritance and nutritional factors.
Although there is no clear way to prevent preeclampsia, the World Health Organization suggests that complications may be avoided by providing timely and effective care. So it is essential for the pregnant woman to attend medical checkups prudently to detect any complications during the period of gestation.
Preeclampsia is the second leading cause of maternal mortality and in Colombia, it affects 8% of pregnant women. It has long been known as the disease of theories, since its specific causes have been difficult to determine. In the last decade, there have been important advances in research that shed light as to its nature, prevention and effective treatment.