This seems to come up a lot when women tell me their birth stories. I cringe inside, because the majority of the time it ends up with a c-Section.
What is it?
Symptoms are: elevated protein levels in the Urine; high blood pressure or steadily rising blood pressure; headaches; swelling of ankles, face and hands; upper abdominal pain; visual disturbances; kidney, heart, or thyroid problems (Romm, 211).
Toxemia (a later stage of this condition) is life-threatening. Do not ignore these symptoms!
How can it be prevented?
A good diet
Plenty of water (plain, at least 6 Eight ounce glasses daily)
Lowering stress in your life, 2 aspects: exercise and some sort of meditative practice.
What can I do if the doctor says I am beginning to have pre-eclampsia?
For High-Blood Pressure
Eating well (see my nutrition hand-out), exercise (see my handout for exercise), and lowering stress will all assist in lowering high blood pressure when the other indicators are ruled out. Often times women do not drink enough water and water is the first thing the ER recommends for high blood pressure.
These are things you can do to lower the swelling:
- Elevate your feet for 20 minutes a day
- Lie on the left side when sleeping or resting (assists blood flow)
- Exercise 30 minutes a day (even a long walk will help).
- Eat more protein and salt foods to taste. You can use natural mineral waters to assist in electrolyte balancing.
Herbals: add Epson salts to foot soak, drinking nettle and dandelion infusion (assists in balancing the kidney retention and flow of fluids).