Postpartum Preeclampsia: Causes, Risks, and Treatment

4 min read

Studies have revealed that about 55% of women suffer from postpartum preeclampsia, which is a condition that generally develops when the mother is expecting and gets resolved after the birth of the baby. However, it requires proper treatment. This article will shed light on the causes, risks and treatment of Postpartum preeclampsia.

Postpartum Preeclampsia

What is Postpartum Preeclampsia(PPP)?

Postpartum preeclampsia is a medical condition that may begin with pregnancy can also arise after giving childbirth. Cases of postpartum preeclampsia within 48 hours to two years of delivery are more common as compared to the cases occurring after two years.

In normal cases, preeclampsia usually occurs at the time of pregnancy when the mother’s blood pressure is constantly high, with records more than 140/90 mm of Hg. Under ideal cases, medication and change in lifestyle normalize the situation so that no issue can arise at the time of childbirth.

What are the Causes of Postpartum Preeclampsia(PPP)?

Several causes are due to which new mothers can suffer from postpartum preeclampsia, despite the medical condition being rare. In the following section, we will focus on the postpartum preeclampsia causes in mothers:

  • Women with fluctuating high BP before pregnancy is at higher risks of developing postpartum preeclampsia.
  • In case you have a family history of postpartum preeclampsia, high chances are there for having this disorder.
  • If you have given birth at an age below 20 or above 40, your body will undergo several stressful situations which ultimately results in PPP.
  • Another major cause of postpartum preeclampsia is obesity or women having a high BMI rating.
  • In rare cases, it has been observed that mothers giving birth to twins or triplets usually suffer from high BP afterward.

women having migraine

What are the Symptoms of Post Pregnancy Preeclampsia(PPP)?

It is very essential for every new mother to identify the preeclampsia signs postpartum so that proper treatment can be done on time. Following are the major symptoms you need to look out for:

  • Consistent high BP even after taking medications
  • Presence of protein in the urine
  • Migraine followed by headache with severity
  • Sensitive to light and blurred vision
  • Having a throbbing pain in the upper abdomen on the right side
  • Swellings in face, feet, hands, and arms
  • The feeling of nausea followed by vomiting
  • Difficulty in urinating
  • Fast weight gain other than the pregnancy fat

Are there any Risk Factors Associated with Postpartum Preeclampsia(PPP)?

Since there are many risk factors associated with PPP, hence it’s highly recommended that you consult your doctor.

  1. Constant high blood pressure
  2. Weight gain
  3. Excessive mood swings and food cravings
  4. Postpartum depression
  5. Irritability and frustration

What are the Further Complications of Postpartum Preeclampsia(PPP)?

If PPP is not diagnosed and treated on time, it can lead to further complications like:

  1. Accumulation of fluids in the lungs, a medical condition called pulmonary edema.
  2. Strokes and heart attacks
  3. Blocking of capillaries and blood vessels due to internal clotting, also known as thromboembolism
  4. Seizures that can damage a part of your brain

doctor checking women Blood pressure BP

How is PPP Diagnosed?

There are three ways in which postpartum preeclampsia can be diagnosed after your childbirth.

  • First, the doctor will look for the causes of preeclampsia after delivery, after which he will advise you to monitor the blood pressure throughout the day at least for a week to check whether or not the BP is fluctuating.
  • Blood tests are also done including the Total and Differential blood count, platelet count, liver function test, and kidney function test.
  • In some cases, urine culture and routine are also done to check the presence of proteins in the urine.

What is the Treatment Prescribed?

If you are diagnosed with postpartum preeclampsia, you will be given medications for lowering your blood pressure and reducing seizures, if any. In addition, if your platelet count is low, your doctor will also prescribe anti-coagulant medicines that will reduce the risk of internal hemorrhage due to blood clots. These are few ways that you must know about how to treat postpartum preeclampsia.
women doing yoga at home

Is there any way to Prevent PPP?

To prevent postpartum preeclampsia, the following tips will help you out:

  • Exercising and yoga
  • Meditation
  • Healthy food habits with a proper postpartum diet plan
  • Change in lifestyle
  • Taking medicines on time
  • Planning the management of your baby

In many cases, postpartum preeclampsia goes undetected because new mothers get so busy taking care of the baby that they miss the symptoms. Living with postpartum preeclampsia is not new since many women confront the medical condition and continue to live without getting diagnosed and treated. But yes, the medical condition will pave way for more serious health issues which is why doctors nowadays focus on controlling the BP during and after pregnancy. After all, it can’t be said how long will postpartum preeclampsia last.

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