Postpartum preeclampsia is quite a rare case. This health condition is characterized by very high blood pressure and excessive amounts of protein in the urine. As a rule, the symptoms of postpartum preeclampsia manifest themselves during the first 2 days after childbirth, although a similar disease can develop during pregnancy. However, in medical practice, there were also cases when signs of preeclampsia occurred six weeks after childbirth. In such situations, the term late postpartum preeclampsia is used.
This pathology is very dangerous and requires immediate treatment. In severe cases, postpartum preeclampsia needs surgical intervention but, as a rule, everything is treated with medication. It is prohibited to ignore the pathology because leaving it unattended can lead to serious complications.
The main symptoms of postpartum preeclampsia
Such a disease as postpartum preeclampsia is difficult to detect without appropriate diagnostic measures. This disease can begin to develop even in pregnant women but no suspicious signs manifest themselves, at least for some time.
If problems do not arise during the first 2 days after the birth of a baby, then a new mother can miss some of the symptoms, since all her attention is focused on caring for the newborn. However, over time, when the condition worsens significantly, it will be obvious the woman needs qualified help.
The common signs and symptoms of postpartum preeclampsia are:
- high blood pressure,
- excessive amounts of protein in the urine,
- migraines and headaches,
- vision problems,
- pain in the upper abdomen,
- vomiting, nausea,
- problems with urination.
Sudden weight gain can also indicate this pathology. Typically, postpartum preeclampsia makes a woman gain up to 2 pounds per week.
If you have even the slightest suspicion about the development of such a disease you need to urgently consult a specialist. Eclampsia and preeclampsia require immediate qualified medical care.
The causes and diagnostics of postpartum preeclampsia
There is no precise answer to the question what causes the development of the disease. Experts believe that postpartum preeclampsia can develop in pregnant women but the first symptoms often appear only after the delivery.
Young mothers who had problems with blood pressure, suffered from hypertension and obesity during pregnancy belong to the risk group. In addition, one must pay special attention to the state of health of those mothers who have had a cesarean section.
Postpartum preeclampsia can’t be detected by external signs, so a lot of women often do not even know about their problem. However, when the health condition of a new mother starts deteriorating there is no other way out, except to urgently seek medical attention.
A blood test can make it possible to diagnose postpartum preeclampsia in time. It will let the doctors observe how well the liver and kidneys are functioning, and show the number of platelets in the blood. In addition, a urine test is used to determine the protein level. In the case of postpartum preeclampsia, this indicator will be very high.
Postpartum preeclampsia: medical treatment
In order to stop the symptoms of the disease, health professionals prescribe the following medicines:
- Anticonvulsant drugs (such as magnesium sulfate). At first, after taking this medication the patient will be under the supervision of a specialist. At the same time, experts will monitor the arterial pressure and urination. Depending on these indicators, the magnesium sulfate dosage will be increased or decreased.
- In addition to anticonvulsants, some agents that help to reduce high blood pressure should be used. Specialists don’t recommend using popular hypertension drugs without the doctor’s approval. They can be not suitable for the particular case and cause more harm than good.
- Sometimes decongestants, antioxidants, and enterosorbents are prescribed.
- During pregnancy and the postpartum period, women experience sudden mood swings and unstable emotional background. If such a serious problem as postpartum preeclampsia arises the new mother’s emotional state is getting even worse. In order to make it easier for a young mother to survive a difficult period, doctors usually prescribe sedatives for the duration of treatment. Also, specialists recommend the patient to maintain a normal water balance.
Young mothers who have had eclampsia and preeclampsia should remember that this pathology may develop a relapse. Usually, this happens 4-6 months after childbirth.