Seeking Advice on Having Children After Pre-ecampsia

Updated on October 31, 2006
N.D. asks from Panama City Beach, FL
7 answers

Hi everyone. I had pre-e with my daughter who is 2. The doctor told me that I had a 30% chance of having it a second time. I have to admit that I am a little concerned about trying for a second. When they decided to take her at 34 weeks, my platlette (sp?) count was below 20,000 and I also had severe HELPP. It was very touch and go, and very scary. She only weighed 4lbs. & 13oz., but she was in much better shape than I was. Has anyone else had subsequent pregnancies after pre-e, or know someone who did? We don't plan on trying for another couple of years, but I think about it a lot and I guess I just need to know if the option is really there or not. It is terrifying to think about not being here for my little because it happens again and I'm not so lucky again. Any input would be appreciated.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Hi... I experienced preeclampsia with all four of my children. My first, born in March of 1981 was a total scare. It developed very late in the pregnancy so she was just at 3 weeks early, but in the early 80's there wasn't as much known as there is now. I have had three subsequent pregnancies.

I am torn on how to advise you. My first child in 1981 was three weeks early and weighed 6lbs, 6oz. My second, born in 1984, was five weeks early and weighed 5lbs, 10oz. My third, born in 1992, was six weeks early and weighed 5lbs even. My fourth, born in 2002 was 7 weeks early and weighed 4lbs 9oz.

Like you, the babies fared better than I did. But each subsequent pregnancy was more difficult than the one before, with an earlier delivery and a lower birthweight. Of course, when I delivered my first I was merely 18 years old. My fourth and last child was delivered at the ripe age of 39. My age may have been an aggravating factor.

I do believe that you can have a healthy pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby. I would definately advise that you go with the same OB/GYN, if able. If not, be sure your doctor is more than well aware of your past experience and be sure that he/she stays on top of this. Remember, we pay them, whether it's self-pay or insurance, YOU ARE THE BOSS! You know your body and you do know when something isn't quite right.. (I actually felt a heat rush through me when my blood pressure start skyrocketing ~ no one believed me and at times they tried to put me off ~ I also knew when I was losing amniotic fluid.. they tried telling me it was a urine, but I knew the difference and I proved them right!). If you have ANY questions or concerns, go to them and dont let them put you off. My name is D., you may correspond with me further if you have any additional questions.

Meanwhile, I wish you the best of luck!



answers from Tampa on

Dear N.,

Research alternative methods and ways to boost your health. There are many, many, ways to boost the health of your whole system. Get very, very healthy, and then when you are ready to have another baby, continue to do the VERY healthy things that you have learned about. My suggestions are;

very healthy food with lots of greens
a good ratio of supplements
raw food as much as possible, fruits etc.
liquid minerals
clean water, lots of it

Do this for many months learning as you go.

Research the heck out of this condition and the steps that you can take to continue to improve health during pregnancy.




answers from Tampa on

I developed pre-e with my first son very suddenly about 5 1/2 weeks before term. I called to see the doctor because I wasn't feeling good. My Blood Pressure had shot up and my reflexes were very hyper and I had protein in my urine. He sent me to the hospital, blood work wasn't that different from my base line. They kept me in the hospital for a couple of days on bed rest. When my platelet count started dropping, they induced labor (5 weeks early). A little over 3 years later I got pregnant with my second son. My doctor watched me very closely because of the earlier experience (as well as the fact I was 40 years old), but I didn't have any problems.

No one can tell you what to do. For me it was worth the risk and since the same doctor took care of me for both pregnancies, I had one I was comfortable trusting.



answers from Jacksonville on

You should do some research on the effects of diet and conditions such as pre-eclampsia and HELPP. There have been links to women's diets and increased risks. I think educating yourself in this area is going to be key for prevention the second time. Also, I have heard that there can be some hormonal links that can predispose women to pre-eclampsia. I haven't personally researched it, but you could check into that as well.
This is a great site that teaches about diet during pregnancy. The second link is the evidence page where you can review all the research that has been done.

I think that knowing there is something you can do to help prevent it will help you be comfortable with your choice to have another baby.

I just can't seem to understand why so many OB/GYNs don't talk to their patients about diet and don't keep up to date with this type of research. Good luck.

S. Payne Romero, LMT, CD



answers from Jacksonville on

A friend of mine had the same problems with her first pregnancy but her second pregnancy (2 1/2 weeks from due date) is going fine with no problems. All pregnancies are different and it is possible you could have the same problems with your second pregnancy. Just because others had a second or third pregnancy free of pre-e doesn't mean you will have the same experience. All I can say is to make sure your OBGYN is aware of the problems, try to reduce your stress when you get pregnant and pray. A child is such a great blessing that I couldn't imagine my life without a house full of them. I am due with my second in December. If you feel the same way then don't lose sight of your dream of a large family because of your fear of the unknown. If you knew the problems you would have gone through with your first pregnancy beforehand would you have chosen not to get pregnant? Of course not because now you couldn't imagine your life without your daughter, that is the same way you will feel with a second. Technology is so advanced that your chances are extremely good that you and the baby will make it. I could never put a price on my daughter's life and yes I do want to see her grown up but if I had to I would give up my life now for her and I would do the same for my unborn child. Giving life is the greatest gift god gave us and if you truly want another child then have one and be greatful that you can. I wish you the best if you do decide to have another child.



answers from Tampa on

I had severe HELLP syndrome with my first. Entered Helen Ellis hospital at 31 weeks, stayed one night and then they sent me to Tampa General were they watched me deteriorate until I was one day shy of 32 weeks (they gave me two courses of steriods in the 5 days I was there) My daughter was born 3# 120z and was in the NICU for 11 days. She is currently a healthy almost 5 year old (she turns 5 in Jan.) The entire pregnancy with Julia I was sick. I gave birth to my second daughter in Nov 30 of 2005. Sara arrived 3 weeks early by planned c-section (I had a vertical c-section the first time and they didn't want to risk labor) she was 5#14oz. I felt fabulous my entire pregnancy with Sara. After Julia I couldn't understand why anyone would do that twice, but now after having Sara and I'm sure more people have normal pregnancies. I even had Sara at 38 with no signs at all of pre-e or HELLP. Loved my Drs. they were great the entire second pregnancy since they knew I was freeked out because of the first. I went to more visits and they just watched me very closely.
If you would like another child I would go for it, like someone else said no two pregnancies are the same. My Dr were Dr Goldman and Dr Williams in New Port Richey, Fl and I would totally recommend them.
S. Gallo
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answers from Sarasota on

I had pre-eclampsia with both of my pregnancies. With my first child, I was induced at 39.5 weeks (obviously not early) specifically because of my incredibly high blood pressure. Fortunately I had none of the problems you did, and my son was born completely healthy (aside from an infection caused by exposure to meconium, completely unrelated to preeclampsia). My second pregnancy was relatively healthy. I had no blood pressure problems, no protein in my urine, very little edema, etc. Then I went into labor at 36 weeks. My son was not quite 5 1/2 pounds but he was for the most part, healthy. During the c-section, my blood pressure skyrocketed and I had some other complications. The doctor said it was pre-eclampsia and the risk of seizure was very high. Four hours later, and that horrible magnesium drip to boot, I was holding my son and out of danger. But it came on VERY quickly, despite a completely healthy pregnancy otherwise. It was very scary. I knew my body was telling me NO MORE KIDS. I took the hint. The scariest part was that there was NO warning, and my doctors were watching for it after my first pregnancy. That being said, I think no two pregnancies are alike like no two women are alike. So the risk is yours to take. There's no way of knowing, with only a 30% risk, if you are in danger or not. Only you and your doctor (and your husband I'd guess) can decide if the risk is high enough. I'd talk to my OBGYN and see what he/she says and determine how serious it could be, etc. Hopefully you'll get the 'all clear' to try and have success, and another beautiful baby, again. Good luck.

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