Preeclampsia Help

Updated on May 08, 2010
S.A. asks from Norwalk, CT
18 answers

Hi moms,

I'm in my 5th month with my second child and have high blood pressure for the first time in my life. My doctor didn't check my urine for blood but did ask me to return in 2 weeks for another blood pressure check. Today it was 180/70. I was wondering what your experiences are with preeclampsia. On the internet I'm reading about stillborn babies and near death moms. I'm hoping it's not so bad. Was anyone able to carry their baby for the full 9 months and were you and your babies healthy?

Thanks everyone.

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answers from Dallas on

I and my son were fine. I did go in to get induced when it was close to my due date.
Try not to worry or read those scary things, it will only increase your blood pressure! Lie on your left side as much as possible.

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answers from New York on

Yes, preeclampsia is very serious - there is just no way to sugarcoat that. However, one high BP does not mean you have it or even have PIH. Listen closely to your OB, follow his/her directions to the letter. Unfortunately there is nothing that a woman does that causes this condition. If we could point to something in particular, we could prevent it. But, some midwives adocate a fairly high protein diet as they believe that women who follow this strategy have a much lower chance of developing PIH.

In the mean time, try to relax. I had a woman in one of my Lamaze classes who had been hospitalized several times with very high BP and suspected PIH. I taught deep relaxation breathing in the second class. The following week, she told me that she was practicing this yoga type breathing several times per day and that her BP had dropped considerably! This being said, maybe you could seek out a yoga instructor to teach you about the deep (or belly) breathing.

I just find myself thinking that all pregnant women should be doing this! Healthful practices that keep you relaxed during your pregnancy are a good thing :-) Please do not stress about this one high BP. Instead, take the steps to get it and keep it down.

And yes, it is possible to go a full 9 months, even with high bp!

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answers from New York on

HI i had preeclampsia in my first pregnancy 10 years ago, they didn't know to much about it then but now they do and they can do a blood test to check for it . So if you feel your doc isn't doing enough get a second opinion the 180 is high but the 70 is not so i wouldn't try to worry your self to much...I now have 3 beautiful girls and had high blood pressure in all of my pregnancy's but only suffered from preeclampsia in my first one.. Normal bp is any range from 100/60 -139/89 if it reaches 140/90 then thats border line high bp..I've learned a lot about high bp in the last 10 years, i now suffer from high bp now due to high anxiety and family genes, ugh! but research suggests that preeclampsia during pregnancy can lead to high bp later in life.. so i'd suggest to you eat healthy don't smoke and do normal pregnancy exercises every day and get as much zzzz's as possible and drink plenty of water(helps prevent UTI's also during pregnancy) and of course daily prenatal vitamins are a must..Limit your caffeine intake to one soda or one cup of joe per day..and if you do develop high bp they do have medication for you that is def safe for your baby and you during your pregnancy.. any other questions that you have please email me @
Good luck and well wishes


answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,

My third child I was "pre-preeclampsia" -- I had high blood pressure that was usually 140/90 or so, and I had protein in my urine but the level was under the level to officially be diagnosed. My doctor watched me like a hawk, I bought a blood pressure cuff to check myself at home a few different times through the day. (Arm cuffs are more accurate then wrist cuffs, arm cuffs in stores shouldn't be trusted because they are often not calibrated regularly. If you want someone else to take your BP - stop by a local fire station and they are usually more then happy to help.)

The goal was to get to 36 weeks and then deliver. When I didn't get much worse (still not preeclampsia level, but higher proteins) we went to 38 weeks. I was induced then. I was fine, son was healthy. All good.

I was still nervous most of my pregnancy, and I was told to take it easy. My doctor said he knew I had other children at home and asking me to be on full bed rest was not feasible, but he would like me to take it easy/lay down as much as possible.

Good luck, hopefully all will be well.



answers from New York on

I never had high blood pressure or protein in my urine throughout my pregnancy. BUT- In the course of a few days I developed HELLP. At 31 weeks my BP was 180. I had an emergency c-section within a few hours of my dr visit. My son (now 2 and doing great!) was in the NICU for 23 days. It is very dangerous for you to have such high BP. (seizure, organ failure, death) I was in hospital 5 nights and on magnesium. I hope your doctors are able to resolve this. It can be very scary- especially since you are so early in your pregancy. Good luck


I never had high blood pressure or protein in my urine throughout my pregnancy. BUT- In the course of a few days I developed HELLP. At 31 weeks my BP was 180. I had an emergency c-section within a few hours of my dr visit. My son (now 2 and doing great!) was in the NICU for 23 days. It is very dangerous for you to have such high BP. (seizure, organ failure, death) I was in hospital 5 nights and on magnesium. I hope your doctors are able to resolve this. It can be very scary- especially since you are so early in your pregancy. Good luck



answers from Fort Wayne on

Just because your blood pressure is high, doesn't mean that you have, or will get, pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia sets in when your urine has protein in it. I had horrible PIH (pregnancy induced hypertension aka high blood pressure) with my first daughter. It started in my 6th month and hovered at about 150/100 with medication. I was on 60 mg of Procardia once a day. Now, I will say that doctor's weren't very good. After I had my daughter I did a LOT of research (don't know why I didn't do it WHILE I was pregnant...major DUH on my part) and I should have been on bedrest as well as the medicine. So, keep that in mind. My PIH did develop into pre-eclampsia at 37 weeks. I tried to do an induction, but it just didn't take. I was having contractions, but nothing major or productive. At one point my blood pressure spiked really high (170/150) and my doc (a different one that I saw while I was pregnant) freaked out. He told me there was little chance that I would be able to have a vaginal delivery because of my blood pressure spikes. I had to have an emergency c-section. But, my daughter was born healthy and happy. There are many moms that have PIH or pre-eclampsia that deliver vaginally so don't think that you're going to HAVE to have a c-section.
The best thing you can do is rest, lay on your left side as much as possible, drink lots of water, avoid stress and cut out sodium from your diet. Not just salt, but sodium. Anything prepackaged had a ton of sodium in it. Look at you salad dressing, condiments, canned soups, pre-made dinners and sides..they all contain WAY more sodium than we are suppose to consume in a day. I never realized how much until I tried to lower the amount I was eating.
If you get headaches, hot flashes or see little spots in your vision, contact your doctor immediately. I would also recommend getting one of the electronic blood pressure cuffs for at home. I checked my blood pressure twice a day and kept a log.
Hang in there! Chances are you'll be able to carry your baby to term. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions or just want to chat about your concerns. (hugs)



answers from Chicago on

I had high blood pressure with my first. I never had protein in my urine, but I had to go in twice a week for bp checks starting at around 7 months. I was put on bed rest at 8 months (I was working outside the home and needed to start my leave early). I went into labor on my own and was treated for pre-e when I arrived at the hospital. The baby had no issues during labor/delivery and I have a healthy 3 yeard old!


answers from Dallas on

I've had 4 babies, 3 with pre-eclampsia and bed rest prior to delivery. All born naturally and healthy. The Doctor checks your urine for protein, which is a big sign. Your top number is a little high, but not awful, the bottom number is the one that is the biggest concern. It is best under 90, anything over 100 is a concern, over 150 is reason to call your doctor. The term preeclampsia is basically a set of symptoms pointing to eclampsia, and when it reaches THAT point is where the danger sets in. As long as the doctor is monitoring you, you should be fine. Things you can do include limiting salt intake, try to keep your feet up some during the day, sleep or lay on your left side as much as possible, increase your water intake during the day, monitor your BP a few times a day and chart it for your doctor. Watch for swelling in your legs and feet, and a big one is a very bad headache that won't go away. Try not to worry about it, it is really pretty common!


answers from Chicago on

Hi!I had pre-eclampsia with my daughter, who is now a very healthy and active 14 month old! My BP starting rising in my 4th month and by the 6th month is was averaging 190/100! There were very high levels of protein in my urine too-that is a huge indicator as well! I was on bedrest from 6 months on. Like another mom said as long as the office keeps monitoring yor bp and urine you and your little one should be fine! Good luck to you!


answers from Fort Collins on

Hi S., I was in your shoes 6 yrs ago. My first son was born at 32 due to HELLP. I was 160/100. First time for me., It was a emergency situation though,did not catch it fast enough. My second we got to 34 weeks then came the bed rest and watching the BP every day, The doctor was great in and out of the hospital for observation actually calmed me down.Make sure your support system is in place for your other child.I had big support group lined up through my mother in law and church especially teen girls. They where great. Daniel came into the world at 36 weeks and I held him and fed him within 6 hours. It was great. He was 5lbs 3 oz. But healthy as could be. He is rambunctious as they come. He is so smart he loves to read.You are going to do great. Follow Dr's advice. Bed rest, get meals delivered. Ask friends to help with cleaning, and child care. Watch sodium, tums and Rolaids are loaded so watch out for them. You are going to have a very special child and he/she is going to be very fortunate to have you for a mom. Relax with deep breathes, listen to soft music and find your quiet place. Good Luck and God Bless!



answers from Louisville on

Take what the docotors say seriously. Mine was never found until I had to have an emergency C-section at 25 weeks. Its best to keep your baby in as long as you can beleive me. Mine spent 92 days in the NICU and it was a roller coaster. I couldn't imagine doing that with another child already there. Watch your salt, stay off your feet and listen to your body and stay on top oth your OBGYN.



answers from New York on

Hi S.-

I have had two children now and have been very concerned about preeclampsia with both pregnancies. High BP runs in my family and seems to be aggrevated by weight. I was very fortunate and was able to avoid it both times.

I managed my weight gain both from a rate perspective and a total perspective. I aslo tried to avoid excessive salt, though it is NOT recommended to elimninate it completely. I would also make sure you are drinking plenty of water to keep flushing your system out. The turn over of fluids is a huge deal when you are pregnant. Light to moderate exercise seemed to help me too, especially with the weight issue.

I would also recommend looking into a doula or a midwife. I DO NOT say this as a substitute for your doctor but rather as a compliment to the care you are receiving. I have used a doula for both pregnancies and births and have found that has made a huge difference in my mental state and prespective on the pregnancies. I think this helped keep my stress levels in check (an thus the BP too). It gave me an alternate outlet with which to discuss the comments/suggestions/advise of the doctor I was seeing. The internet was overwhelming versus the doula knowing my situation and being able to filter my concerns through that knowledge.

Good luck.



answers from Charlotte on

Hi S.,

I hope you aren't working outside of the home. And if your first child isn't in preschool or daycare, please get someone to take care of him or her for you. You need to be resting as much as possible. Another poster mentions lowering your salt intake, drinking a lot and laying on your left side - yes - and void your bladder often too. That's as important as drinking plenty of water. Ask friends if they will bring dishes of food to you - tell them you aren't supposed to have salt. That will help you a lot. It is so important for you to do the best you can to manage this.

Good luck,



answers from Atlanta on

They check for protein in your urine with preeclampsia. It's VERY serious! Follow your doctor's orders to the letter! I had post-partum pre-eclampsia with my first, which is unusual. You read and hear all the time that the "cure" for pre-eclampsia is giving birth. However it does happen once in awhile! I had to go back into the hospital for two days and stay on a magnesium drip, and that took care of everything. Since it wasn't an issue before birth, I went to term. With my second, two weeks before his due date, my blood pressure started rising and wouldn't go down. I had to do the fun pee test where I got to carry an orange jug around with me all day and pee in it for 24 hours! Anyway, I never went fully into pre-eclampsia, but did have PIH, so they induced a week early after a week of bed rest hadn't changed anything.

When it's much earlier like yours, you do whatever they tell you to do! I hope you don't have to be hospitalized, but don't play around! IF you actually become pre-eclamptic (and while your BP is high -it's not pre-eclampsia high), you will be admitted and watched. If they can stabilize your BP, you will be able to "stay pregnant." If they can't, they may go in a few directions depending on where you are in your pregnancy at that point. They will most likely try to get you to 30 weeks minimum if you become pre-eclamptic, but if you into eclampsia they will deliver to save your life. If you're eclamptic you are seriously close to stroking out or going into a coma. None of this is to scare you, but I know a few people who just didn't take this very seriously and given the reactions and info I had with the small experience I had -it's SERIOUS!



answers from New York on

My sister-in-law had preeclampsia during her first two pregnancies, and she & the kids were just fine. She watched her salt and went on bed rest towards the end of each pregnancy. Now she is pregnant again & for some reason is having no trouble with preeclampsia.


answers from Dallas on

In my birthing classes (The Bradley Method) I learned that a study was done and found that Preeclampsia may be prevented by taking in 80-100 grams of protein a day....I did this as did my sister. Neither one of us had any blood pressure or swelling issues...its worth a try to see if it can help keep it under control....I'm curious to see if it can reverse the condition or if it only helps prevent it....just a thought!



answers from Dallas on

I had preeclampsia with my first child, was put on bedrest because of pre-term labor at 6 months, and was induced 5 weeks early because of the preeclampsia. My son weighed 7.5 pounds and was very healthy, though I had some complications during delivery. I went on to have another healthy son 5.5 years later. Congratulations on your pregnancy, and I hope all goes well with your delivery.



answers from Chicago on

I had pregnancy induced hypertension with my first. He was born early at 32 weeks because of complications from it. With my 2nd I was on high blood pressure meds as soon as the PIH started. I developed preeclampsia at 37 weeks and she was born right away because she was full term. I spent 24 hours after she was born on magnesium, and we're both just fine. You'll be monitored very closely and will have lots of blood and urine tests as well as ultrasounds and non-stress tests to be sure you're both fine.

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