HELLP Syndrome Postpartum: Why Do I Still Have Symptoms?

I am 25 years old and had my first baby 4 weeks ago. My pregnancy went on without any complications and I went into labor 3 days before my due date. I am still trying to find out from my doctors what happened during labor but can not get a clear answer. I was in labor for 20 hours and pushing for 2 hours when all of the sudden my doctor decided to do the C-section.

I don't remember much of what happened after the C-section, but for next 4 days I was on Magnesium Sulfate IV and really sick. They told me later I had developed HELLP syndrome. I read your comment on what HELLP is but would like to get more information.

I had no symptoms of pre-eclampsia during pregnancy and my blood pressure was always very low. Four weeks after delivery my blood pressure has not gone down much and I have bad headaches although I am on medication. I still have some protein in urine and some abdominal pain. Is HELLP syndrome/blood pressure supposed to resolve after delivery? How long does it take for blood pressure to go down?

My doctor still has me on bed rest and I don't want to nurse my baby with the medications I am taking (labetalol).

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

The management of clients with persistent HELLP syndrome postpartum is a matter of debate. Some believe that watchful waiting is all that is necessary but others feel that aggressive therapy will lead to quicker resolution and fewer consequences. Exchange transfusion with fresh frozen plasma is sometimes advocated. If your bilirubin or creatinine is associated with breakdown of red blood cells or if you have thrombocytopenia, plasma exchange may be indicated.

You should be having platelet counts, fibrinogen levels and prothrombin and partial thromboplastin times done to see if you are still suffering from the effects of HELLP syndrome or if you have underlying kidney problems, liver problems or essential hypertension.

I would recommend that you seek the help of an experienced internist or renal specialist. Your persistent symptoms indicate that something should be done.

I hope this situation is resolved and you begin to feel much better soon.

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