The Mayo Clinic defines preeclampsia as “a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, most often the liver and kidneys.” The Population Council, an organization funded by USAID, has taken on the project “Ending Eclampsia,” dedicated to the prevention and treatment of preeclampsia and eclampsia. Healthline explains that eclampsia is a severe complication of preeclampsia in which high blood pressure during pregnancy leads to seizures.
World Preeclampsia Day is being observed today and the Population Council and its co-sponsors wishes to educate the public that preparation is key to preventing preeclampsia as it often strikes suddenly during pregnancy in the second half or up to six weeks post-partum. Early diagnosis can save lives as preeclampsia accounts for sixteen percent of maternal deaths in low to middle income countries.
Pregnant women are advised to do the following to minimize their risks of complications due to preeclampsia:
- Discuss your risk factors for preeclampsia with your healthcare provider before or early in your pregnancy.
- Know your family history, especially during pregnancy, for high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Attend all prenatal appointments
- Post-natal – monitor your blood pressure and weight regularly and alert your healthcare provider immediately if there are any spikes in blood pressure readings.
- Post-natal– continue to eat right, exercise, and maintain a healthy weight.
If you are pregnant or thinking of starting a family, discuss your treatment options with your healthcare provider. To schedule an appointment at any of our convenient Primary Medical Care Center community clinics, you may visit our website at www.primarymed.com, or call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic, or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic.