Preclampsia.....will It Happen Again?!?!?!

Updated on June 07, 2010
V.S. asks from Lima, OH
8 answers

I have a 2 year old daughter and a now 4 week old daughter. My first pregnancy was a breeze and went wonderful. When I went to be induced the night before, I was given the cervadil and said my protein in my urine was a little high and my blood pressure sky rocketed. I laid on my left side and the blood pressure went down to normal. The delivery was a little rough because I felt it took forever to get her out, even though I only pushed for 45 minutes. I did swell and was quite sore. As for my second pregnancy, it was a little more rough. I had varicose veins in my legs and vaginal region so you can just imagine the pain I was in. Unfortunately, at 37 weeks and 6 days pregnant, I went into my regular appointment to be checked and my blood pressure was 144/88. It was a little high the week before, but they said I was going to be induced in 1 week so they would check it the following week. Come to find out, my protein in my urine was over 1,000 (apparently preclamsia starts at over 300, then severe preclamsia over 500 and mine was over 1,000). The nurse basically called the doctor and the doctor said to get me over to labor and delivery right away. So, I got there and my blood pressure started to go down to around 122/82. Well needless to say, I was given pitocin the next day and had my baby girl.

My question is, my husband and I plan to have a third child but not until our second child is around 3 years old. My doctor told me twice that I was a very sick girl but we never knew it because I didn't have any symptoms to go with the preclampsia. All I had was nausea for a couple weeks but I assumed it was because I was getting ready to deliver.

Does anybody know how much greater of a chance you have to develop preclampsia on another pregnancy when you had it on an original one? I just cannot see putting myself through it all over again and putting my child in danger too. We would really like to have a third child, but I don’t know if risking my life and my child’s life is worth the risk. Has anybody out there experienced this?

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answers from Houston on

Well a really great friend of mine had it with her first. Went into the whole agonizing abdominal pain and sky rocketting bp at 7 months prego. She almost died, the baby almost died, she had to have an emergency c-section...but thankfully all went well and now five years later her daughter who was a tiny preemie is fine and has been caught up forever. I only tell you that part so you can see how severe it was. On her second pregnancy she did fine, had no signs of pre-eclampsia and went to term. I would say that if you do decide on a third child, getting a bp machine for the house would probably be a good idea. That way you can monitor yourself daily and if anything were to seem off you could get help early on and have a better chance of carrying the baby longer. It 's always worst case scenario for something to be discovered at crisis levels. Being that your doctor knows what you went through they may want you to come in and be checked more often that with your previous pregnancies. I think if you want to have another child, you can still go for it. Just arm yourself with the tools you need, be ready to deal with complications and just pray there are none. Best wishes!

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answers from Dallas on

My doctor said that in each subsequent pregnancies the chances for pre-e goes down.

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answers from Atlanta on

The most common answer you will find from everyone -including doctors -is you never can tell. Many people never have it after having it once and some do. I had POST-PARTUM pre-eclampsia, which I never heard of and thought once you delivered you were fine -but while rare, it happens. That was with my first and I never had any BP problems during that pregnancy. With the second, I never had any BP problems or swelling, but 2 weeks before my due date I suddenly had PIH -never enough protein in my urine to be pre-eclamptic though. They did induce a week before the due date.

Two things that do up your risk just a bit -although not as much as you might think, they do see more pre-eclampsia in women who are obese and women who are older. It's barely an indicator, but it does up your chances a little bit.

If you DO decide to have another (and personally I would just be happy for the two you have and stop, but...) -get a home BP kit to monitor yourself, and any signs -swelling, nausea, seeing bright flashes, etc. -go to your doctor immediately.

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answers from Dallas on

well, my mom had pre-eclampsia with me and my twin sister, but never in subsequent pregnancies (she had 4 children after me, even another set of twins).... but you can never tell :(

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answers from Houston on

The biggest risk factor for developing preeclampsia is having had it before. Having pre-e close to term or postpartum gives you a roughly 20% chance of developing it again:

With your history I'm sure your doctors will be watching you closely. Odds are if you develop pre-e again it will be at the same time or later in gestation, and 37 weeks is a great place to be!

My personal story is that I was diagnosed with severe pre-e at 38 weeks in my first pregnancy, narrowly avoiding an emergency c-section. I tested negative for any underlying disorders, and during my second pregnancy was induced for "mild" pre-e at 37 weeks.

You might want to schedule a pre-conception consultation with a MFM specializing in high-risk pregnancies; they can test you for underlying disorders that have been linked to pre-e and give you a better idea of what your odds are and how closely you should be monitored during pregnancy.

I have found the Preeclampsia Foundation a great source of info and support. Good luck with whatever you decide!

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answers from Cleveland on

I had sudden pre-eclampsia with my first pregnancy and she was delivered at 32 weeks. She's 7 now and doing great.

The docs said I needn't worry about subsequent pregnancies...but my second i developed high blood pressure early and my DD was delivered emergency c-section at 26 weeks but she died a few days later.

I will not get pregnant again because I do not want to ever go through that again. If you are serious about another baby, consider adoption. I wouldn't take the chance!

Good Luck



answers from Toledo on

I am researching preeclampsia for a dietetics project. While I am only looking at nutritonal interventions that could help modify hypertensive disorders in pregnancy (such as preeclampsia), I did read in the backgrounds of the papers that having preeclampsia increases chances of having it again. Several nutritional interventions (such as sodium restriction, calcium supplementation, and antioxidant therapies) have been proposed but the evidence doesn't show they actually help. There is a scientific, peer reviewed journal called Hypertension In Pregnancy that I have access to from BGSU. You could look more closely at the research. Or, I would think that a long discussion with a specialist could help you weigh the risks of having a third pregnancy and also discuss possible medicines that could help.
I wish you well.



answers from Cincinnati on

With two pregnancies resulting in pre-eclampsia, you are at a higher risk than other women. If your OB is the same who followed you through both pregnancies he should be aware of your tendencies and follow you closer-more frequent office visits, home blood pressure checks and maybe urine monitoring (for protein). You may even need to be followed by a high-risk pregnancy specialist. Keep in touch with your previous OB, especially if you are not changing docs and when you are close to being ready to try for #3-he should be able to guide you through appropriately.

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