Originally Posted by Romana9+2
There is insufficient evidence to affirmatively state that there is nothing you can do to prevent pre-eclampsia. And getting defensive about searching for answers and providing possible methods to help prevent a rise in blood pressure or pre-eclampsia only inhibits the process of discovering what we CAN do. I personally think it's unlikely that pre-eclampsia will remain a medical mystery forever. With more attention, time, and more sophisticated medical science, hopefully sooner rather than later there will be an explanation.
I am not blaming mothers for anything. Also, pre-eclampsia is frequently misdiagnosed. Many OBs can't agree on exactly when a woman becomes pre-eclamptic, and many OBs will also tell women the are pre-eclamptic when in reality all they're experiencing is PIH, which may be a perfectly normal condition for that particular woman at the end of pregnancy.
I experienced moderately elevated blood pressure towards the end of my last pregnancy. Had I been seeing an OB, there's a good chance it would have been called pre-eclampsia. Doubtless I would have been induced at roughly 37 weeks, or at least hospitalized and medicated. I've seen many stories from other women with *lower* BP than I had and identical proteinuria (trace to none) told that they were developing pre-eclampsia and needed to be induced. Voila, unnecessary c/s 12 or 18 or 24 hours later.
Women are not to "blame" for pre-eclampsia any more than I say "Well, it's your fault - you shouldn't have had so many hamburgers" to someone who has a heart attack. If there is the possibility that a good diet can reduce risk (whether that be because of protein intake, calcium intake, or something completely different) or pregnancy or birth complications, I think it's worth sharing that information. I didn't put anything out as gospel; even put "claim" in quotes because it's unproven.
As someone who's experienced elevated BP in late pregnancy and been given the medical run-around as a result, I'm interested in everything I can do to prevent something similar this time. And if I'd been seeing a typical OB during my last pregnancy, there's a good chance I'd believe I'd developed pre-eclampsia, when that was not in fact the case.
Also, I re-read what I wrote, and I really don't see where I even stated that you can prevent pre-eclampsia. I stated there was a claim about possibly preventing it, that there are two possible explanations currently being discussed regarding that claim, and that nothing has been affirmatively proven.
Not everyone who is diagnosed with pre-e is misdiagnosed. Unless BP of 190/??? is normal during pregnancy, unless a weight gain of 75 pounds, including 13 pounds in 3 weeks in the first trimester is normal during pregnancy, unless it's normal during pregnancy for your platelets to just...disappear, unless it's normal to have seizures during labor.
I was miserable during my pregnancy with my daughter, the only mis diagnosis happened when symptoms showed up as early as 16 weeks and the doctors ignored it until they were threatening an emergency c-section at 30 weeks.
I believe it's irresponsible to say "oh, just eat more protein and you'll be fine" when that's simply NOT TRUE. I was active, I ate a healthy, well-balanced diet, plenty of fresh fruits/veggies, avoided carbs, ate lots of healthy protein, and I still got very very very very very sick. AT THIS POINT IN TIME, THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT PRE-E. Bad things happen.
Part of why I believe it's irresponsible to give that kind of advice, ESPECIALLY in a community like MDC, is it will help to encourage women who really NEED medical assistance to avoid it, because they will believe claims like that - that they just need to change their diet. It's NOT TRUE. Women and babies can DIE from pre-e, and they NEED to be monitored by medical professionals if they develop it.
One thing I have noticed in the time I've been at MDC - I frequent MDC and another mainstream board of equal size; true, here there are a lot more "successful" vaginal births - but there are also considerably more infant and maternal deaths. In the 2 years I've been a member at the mainstream board, there has been 1 maternal death (due to undiagnosed pre-e, interestingly enough!) and 1 infant death. There have definitely been more deaths in the "natural family living" community.
I think a balance needs to be reached, where women are confident in their own bodies, but also know when to seek medical care. Pre-eclamptic symptoms are a time to seek medical care, because changing your diet just is not going to cut it, and it is dangerous to say otherwise.