Preeclampsia: Can It Be Prevented?

My first pregnancy ended in a cesarean at 28 weeks due to severe preeclampsia. My new doctor seems to be very proactive and cautious, but I'm fearful of a repeat performance. I am 10 weeks pregnant. Is there anything I can do to help prevent preeclampsia?


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

I wish I had some proven preventive measures. Research is being conducted using aspirin (80mg +/- per day). The results are mixed, but some subjects have shown a decreased rate of recurrence of preeclampsia. Linoleic acid food supplements in conjunction with aspirin have also shown some positive benefits. Consult your doctor before trying this.

The ages-old rest, diet and fluid routine is also worth a try. Rest on your left side for 30 minutes several times a day to help renal blood flow. Avoid any constrictive postures or clothing and keep up an exercise routine, perhaps walking 30 minutes a day.

With a history of preeclampsia you have a slightly increased risk of developing this again, but it is primarily a disease of first time mothers. Stay positive and consider asking your doctor to see you every two weeks, especially after 24 weeks.

Some experts say not to decrease your salt intake and to really push fluid and protein in the diet. There are lots of theories but unfortunately, not much hard evidence.

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