Your body goes through a lot of changes when you’re pregnant. It’s now providing for both you and your baby, putting strain on every system. Midway through your pregnancy, a condition called preeclampsia is a possibility, causing high blood pressure and headaches. Without treatment, it could have potentially fatal complications.
Dr. Inga Zilberstein and her team provide excellent obstetrics care at her office in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York. If you’ve been recently diagnosed with preeclampsia, Dr. Zilberstein offers expert and compassionate treatment for both you and your baby. Here’s what you need to know.
What is preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia is a dangerous medical problem that can arise about midway through your pregnancy. It’s characterized by a blood pressure over 140/90 along with protein in your urine. You may not even know you have it until one of your prenatal checkups.
Elevated blood pressure is dangerous for both you and your baby. The increased pressure makes your heart and other organs work harder, straining your body. Hypertension affects the placenta as well as your kidneys, liver, and lungs.
When you have preeclampsia, it needs to be managed by a medical professional. If left untreated, this condition may turn into a more serious, and potentially deadly medical issue that can harm you and your unborn baby.
Understanding the symptoms
If you have preeclampsia, you may not have any symptoms other than a rise in your blood pressure. However, sustained high blood pressure often leads to other symptoms, which include:
- Blurry vision
- Facial swelling
- Dark spots in your vision
- Shortness of breath
- Protein in your urine
Weight gain from water retention is also common with preeclampsia. You likely won’t know you have this condition until one of your prenatal appointments. This is one example of why prenatal care is so important to your health and that of your unborn baby.
Preeclampsia also has an effect on your unborn baby. If not treated, it leads to low birth weight, preterm labor, or placental abruption. You can also end up with HELLP syndrome — hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelets — which is a life-threatening complication that affects your ability to clot your blood and damages your liver.
What should you do next?
If you’ve been diagnosed with preeclampsia, the next step is a visit to Dr. Zilberstein so you can manage the condition. The only way to resolve preeclampsia is through delivering your baby.
Dr. Zilberstein recommends inducing labor if you’re at 37 weeks of gestation or more and your preeclampsia is moderate to severe. Typically, the condition resolves after you give birth and your body returns to normal.
However, if you’re not 37 weeks, Dr. Zilberstein needs to manage the condition until your unborn baby is developed enough to be delivered. This means you need more frequent prenatal appointments along with blood draws, urine analysis, and ultrasounds.
If your preeclampsia is severe but your baby isn’t ready to be delivered, you may need to be on bedrest or spend the remainder of your pregnancy in the hospital. However, if your condition progresses, your baby will need to be delivered for your health and safety.
Dr. Zilberstein usually gives you magnesium through an IV when you’re delivering and afterward. This helps prevent seizures caused by your high blood pressure until your body returns to normal.
Preeclampsia often resolves on its own after your baby is born. Dr. Zilberstein follows your health closely for the first few weeks after delivery to ensure that your symptoms get better. You should monitor your blood pressure at home and report any changes in your health to Dr. Zilberstein and her team.
If you’ve received a preeclampsia diagnosis, Dr. Zilberstein can work with you to manage your condition. Call the office today at 646-601-6351 to schedule an appointment, or request a consultation on our website.