Anyone with Pre-eclampsia before? - Mothering Forums
I'm Pregnant > Anyone with Pre-eclampsia before?
CarrieL's Avatar CarrieL 04:04 AM 02-20-2002
I'm starting to worry I'm heading there killed all my hopes of a natural birth last time and I was hoping to try again. BP is heading up though ; ( so wondering if anyone delivered with pre-e and how you were able to keep it somewhat less medical? Were you induced? How does that go? I'm thinking I would rather be induced a little early if it meant NOT having to have Magnesium sulfate during labor, and if you've had it you'll understand!

Anyway, if you've had pre e would love to hear from ya ; )

sully's Avatar sully 03:29 PM 02-20-2002
I had it with my first preg and had to be induced- this is not what you want to hear but it was absolutely horrid, i was in labor for 3 days, wound up pushing for 4 hours, had a vacuum extraction, an episiotomy AND 4th degree tearing, and broke my tailbone. I'm 8 months pregnant now and thankfully don't have it this time, so sorry to hear you're heading that way again.
Kim's Avatar Kim 04:31 PM 02-20-2002
Hi Carrie,

I have no experience with pre-eclampsia, but maybe it's a good idea to post on the Health and Healing or Midwives/Doula board to see if those mama's have any advice for you.

Take care and keep us posted on your progress!
Heavenly's Avatar Heavenly 09:24 PM 02-20-2002
Hi I am just lurking here (hope to be here soon!). I had preeclampsia with my son and had an emerg c-section at 34 weeks. A couple of things I've learned after the fact are - do not reduce your salt, that actually makes it worse! Take Calcium and Magnesium supplementation. Eat a lot of protein - at least 80 grams a day if not a hundred. HTH!
Kim's Avatar Kim 11:23 PM 02-20-2002
Heavenly, your post reminded me...

Is the Brewer's diet something women follow to avoid pre-eclampsia? The sodium and protein consumption seem consistent with the Brewer diet.

Carrie -- Have you heard of the Brewer diet?
sully's Avatar sully 11:29 PM 02-20-2002
Heavenly I'm surprised to hear about the sodium thing, I was told to limit my sodium intake by my midwives when my bp got bad. What did you learn about sodium?
CarrieL's Avatar CarrieL 12:15 AM 02-21-2002
I've heard both ways on that as well, I don't know who to believe. Seems like everyone I asks says something different. I'm definitely getting lots of protein because I am on the gestational diabetes diet (i'm so good at being pg eh?) and I can't have a lot of that means I eat a lot of protein and plenty of dairy.

Induction is sounding awful, seems like all the cervix ripening stuff is horrendous, risks of uterine rupture and scary stuff like that. I dont' know what will happen: I posted on midwife board, seeing what those ladies would do in same situation...hopefully get some good insight there.
peggy's Avatar peggy 12:20 AM 02-21-2002
Hi Sully (I didn't know you posted over here too)
Yes I was also told to keep my sodium intake down...
With my last pregnancy I had pre-eclampsia. I was induced and got the mag/sulfate half way through. Not my dream birth, but I got through it with out an epidural and was well enoigh to nurse the baby right away. I have since read many negative things about mag/sulfate...but it did turn out OK for me.
I hope it does not become neccessary for you and you get to have the birth you want.

3 little birds's Avatar 3 little birds 03:59 AM 02-21-2002
I had it with my twins and had a c-section (one baby was double footling breech).

This time my midwife told me to eat at least 75 grams of protein a day (not so easy for a veggie) and that dandelion helps to control high blood pressure. So far my pressure is low but I am trying everything to keep it that way.

Best wishes!!
Ceinwyn's Avatar Ceinwyn 09:59 PM 02-22-2002
I read an article just last night on calcium reducing bp in pregnant women. It was in the cochrane reviews. I don't have the article on me but it would be worth looking into.
Heavenly's Avatar Heavenly 12:53 AM 02-23-2002
Yes I got my info from Dr. Brewer

My blood pressure was elevated at 6 weeks pregnant and I followed all the wonderful *note the sarcasm* diet advice from the doctors and midwives and at 33 weeks I developed pre-eclampsia which within a week almost killed both of us. I will definately be following Brewers advice next time.
ebethmom's Avatar ebethmom 02:36 AM 02-23-2002
I developed preeclampsia at 38 weeks. Now that I see pictures of my pregnant self, I can't believe that my doctors weren't concerned earlier - I was puffed up like the StayPuft Marshmallow!

My blood pressure went up at 38 weeks, and I gained 9 pounds that week.

They started my induction with Cytotec. Evil drug! Never again!
Luckily, my water broke before the pitocin started and I didn't have to have much.

I did have magnesium sulfate, antibiotics for beta strep, internal moniters, a catheter, and that dreaded automatic blood pressure cuff (that the nurses started every time a contraction started :mad: ) My labor was fast and hard, and I only pushed for 30 minutes.

But I didn't have an epidural or episiotomy! My doula was wonderful, and my son latched on well right after he was born.

I am praying that my next pregnancy is easier, and minus the preeclampsia stress. I am already 30 pounds lighter than my prepregnancy weight! Weight Watchers !!

I still have one more appointment with the renal specialist. ANOTHER 24 hour urine sample. Has anyone else here dealt with raised protein levels for several months after delivery?

pjlioness's Avatar pjlioness 09:45 PM 02-26-2002
My blood pressure went up 4 weeks before I was due. My midwives recommended that I take a Cal/Mag (500/250 mg)supplement 2 or 3 times a day (can't remember which right now) and drink nettle leaf tea twice a day. They also suggested that I try to get more of my protein from plant sources, as they see many women who get protein mostly from animal sources ending up with high blood pressure.

sanfranmom2be's Avatar sanfranmom2be 09:58 PM 02-26-2002
I just got diagnosed with high blood pressure as well. When I sit it is 140/90 and when I am on my left side it goes down to as low as 116/69 but is usually around the 130/80 mark. I am tring acupuncture and chinese herbs but have also had people tell me to do the following:

3 cloves raw garlic/day
Ca/Mg supplements
Tincture of passion flower, lobelia, dandelion, milk thistle....20 drops 3-4 times daily
Eat cucumber

Has anyone had any succes with any of these? I am 38 weeks and would love to get my bp down before labour.
pjlioness's Avatar pjlioness 03:30 PM 02-28-2002
I took a look at the Brewer Diet page, and it seemed a pretty reasonable diet. However, I followed one of the links (the milk one, I think) and was a bit taken aback that it was a link to a very religious (Christian?) discussion, which makes me a bit wary of the Brewer site itself. Are there any studies outside of those done by Dr. Brewer that show his diet to have the benefits that he claims?

I am not pregnant now (have a 15 month old ds), but will probably be trying again when he is 2 yrs. I had Gestational Diabetes with ds, and am doing research now to plan for the possibility of having it again and eating a more vegetarian diet with the next pregnancy (or pregnancies - I'd like 3 dks).

Thanks, and once again, I don't mean to offend anyone with strong religious beliefs.

Corriander's Avatar Corriander 03:45 PM 02-28-2002
I did a literature search for articles with the words "preeclampsia and diet" in the title and came up with this one article. I did not have preeclampsia but did have high blood pressure (and was constantly having to explain to nurses that high bp does not automatically mean that you have pre-e!) so this subject is of interest to me in any future pregnancies.

Lauro,V. "Preeclampsia: correlation between changes in symptomatology and changes in diet". (1997) 68:95

This study analyzes 13 cases of pregnant women affected by varying degrees of preeclampsia, and correlates the patients' data (height, weight, preeclampsia symptoms according to intensity and time of onset) to the amount of mean daily intake of nutrients (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, starch, total calories, Na). The amount of nutrients was obtained processing with a special computer software the patients' weekly dietary diaries. The analysis of the data shows the correlation between the onset of preeclampsia symptomatology and the excess of certain nutrients: excess in calories and/or proteins, and/or lipids, and/or simple sugars, and/or sodium. A reduction in the amount of these nutrients, especially proteins and Na when applied during the early stage of preeclampsia symptoms, favours the disappearance of the clinical signs of the disease.

Hope this is helpful.
Corriander's Avatar Corriander 03:58 PM 02-28-2002
Oooo! I did a different search and found some more articles! I'll just type the pertinent part of the abstract for each one. Some appear to contradict each other - but you know that's just how it goes sometimes with these studies.

1. The current study suggests that high intakes of energy, sucrose, and polyunsaturated fatty acids independently increase the risk for preeclampsia.

2. Recent, large, randomized trials have not shown a benefit from the use of aspirin. Calcium supplementation has also been studied extensively and found to be similarly ineffective in reducing the incidence or severity of preeclampsia in healthy women. The studies regarding the use of magnesium, zinc, and fish oils for the prevention of preeclampsia are fewer in number, but have also found minimal to no benefit. In the same respect, numerous randomized trials have been performed using antihypertensive agents, diuretics, and low-salt diet. Results of these studies have not shown any beneficial effect. Prevention of preeclampsia is unlikely as long as the underlying origin remains unknown.

3. We found no evidence that low vitamin E consumption is related to the development of preeclampsia.

4. Logistic regression analysis showed that women who drank two glasses of milk per day had the lowest risk (reference category). The relative risk (RR) for those drinking one glass of milk per day was similarly low, but risk for those drinking less than one glass of milk per day was substantially higher. Women drinking three or more glasses of milk per day also showed increased risk as did those drinking four or more glasses per day. The increased risk associated with low milk intake is consistent with studies showing reduced blood pressure with increased calcium intake. The increased risk with high milk intake has not been demonstrated previously.

5. We studied the effect of a low-salt diet (less than 5g/day) on pregnancy-induced hypertension compared to patients with hypertension due to chronic renal failure and essential hypertension. These results indicate that a low-salt diet is not only ineffective, but also accelerates volume depletion in preeclampsia.

6. Studies at "the Farm," a community of spiritually gathered young people in Summertown, Tenn, have shown that it is possible to sustain a normal pregnancy on a vegan diet. The source of dietary protein (ie, animal or vegetable) does not seem to affect birth weight, as long as vegans are health conscious, receive continuous prenatal care, supplement their diets with prenatal vitamins, calcium, and iron, and apply protein- complementing nutritional principles. Preeclampsia may be caused by a relative prostacyclin deficiency in the face of excessive production of thromboxane A2. A vegan diet (one low in arachidonic acid) might provide protection against this condition, especially if the conversion of linoleic acid to arachidonic acid is inhibited by decreased activity of the enzyme delta-6-desaturase. We examined the maternity care records of 775 vegan mothers for symptoms of preeclampsia, and only one case met the clinical criteria. Since preeclampsia in our culture is frequently associated with unrestrained consumption of "fast foods" (foods having high levels of saturated fat) and rapid weight gain, it is possible that a vegan diet could alleviate most, if not all, of the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia.
AmyB's Avatar AmyB 08:18 PM 02-28-2002
Originally posted by CarrieL
( so wondering if anyone delivered with pre-e and how you were able to keep it somewhat less medical?
I'm still quite angry about the hospital treatment I got for pre-e. It seems to me that they were so caught up in their magic numbers and medical machines they forgot to help me through labor.

The nurses would not let me sit up, kept telling me not to push, and even when I asked several times they either would not or could not advise me how to use the energy of my contractions. I told one Dr. I wanted to be able to stand or sit and she replied with some nonsense about how it wouldn't make any difference (about 68% of women treated for pre-e end up with a cesarean, so I guess she didn't think it *would* make any difference). I realized how much better it all could have been when another OB showed up who had some real idea of how to help a laboring woman through unmedicated childbirth.

All I can say, if I were doing it again I would hire someone knowledgeable about childbirth and with a very pushy personality to be an advocate for me.

sanfranmom2be's Avatar sanfranmom2be 09:47 PM 03-01-2002

Thanks for this info. It was extremely helpful! I too am constantly having to explain to the nurses that I only have hbp and do not have pre-e.

I am certain that the blood pressure came up as a result of rapid weight gain in the last two months. Our baby was a little small and they put me on a heavy resting and eating plan. I have gained 20 pounds since Dec 19 ( I had already gained 20 when they put me on rest). The baby reponded well but I think my body just freeked out! This makes sense with some of the abstracts you pulled.

The one thing I have determined through all of this is that you (one) really needs to trust on an intuitive level, what is happening in their body. I sometimes feel, if left alone, my body would have done just what is should have and all would be well.

I still feel great but with reading a lot of these stories am a little concerned about labour. FYI to anyone else with hypertension, submersion in a tub has actually been shown to bring down blood pressure - so once you are far enough along hop in and enjoy the effects of less pressure on your body and decrease bp!

Corainder, do you have any other tips?

Corriander's Avatar Corriander 01:47 PM 03-02-2002
I have done some more research on pregnancy hypertension, but since this is different from pre eclampsia, I think I should start another thread...
serenapt's Avatar serenapt 02:17 AM 03-03-2002
My bp went up at 35 weeks and by 36 weeks I was on bedrest. Fortunately, around 38 weeks I started having contractions. So, my midwife told me they were going to induce if I didn't have him by Friday. We met at the hospital and I was dilated 5 cm - they broke my water and from there, it was totally natural! I did start taking EPO as soon as my blood pressure was high to try to get things moving along and was drinking my red respberry leaf tea. On Friday - do or die - I did the castor oil thing. Disgusting, but it worked! During labor, they wanted me in water to try to keep my bp lower, but I hated it and they let me get out. Fortunately, my bp didn't go too high durng labor, so everything worked out fine.