Pre Eclampsia support

For Women & their families who have suffered with Pre Eclampsia, Eclampsia, HELLP syndrome, Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH) and related conditions.
 
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 Ask Liz about Pre Eclampsia & related conditions.

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Liz Pidgley
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PostSubject: Ask Liz about Pre Eclampsia & related conditions.   Fri 23 May 2008, 8:06 am

I am not an 'expert' I am a Mum who has had this vile condition. I worked for 2 years as Support Manager for a Pre Eclampsia Charity so have some knowledge in the field.
This is a space for you to ask me a question. If I dont know the answer I usually know someone who will!

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Every Woman is entitled to understand what happened in her pregnancy when pre eclampsia strikes. I hope to be able to support that process.
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Rachel
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Join date : 2008-06-17

PostSubject: Re: Ask Liz about Pre Eclampsia & related conditions.   Wed 18 Jun 2008, 5:56 pm

Hi Liz,

Just wanted a bit of advice please. I'm 11 weeks pregnant and had pre-eclampsia with my first pregnancy. I had an unpleasant pregnancy, seeking medical advice for many symptoms that I now know related to PE quite early on, but kept being told, "this is pregnancy". I had been very dizzy and had a fall at 32 weeks, then went to the day unit as I hadn't felt my baby move since this. They did some standard tests, told me I had PE and admitted me. I was booked in for a C section at 35 weeks, but they gave me induction drugs and I ended up having a normal delivery shortly before. The labour lasted 27 minutes and Toby weighed 4lbs 5oz. We were really lucky and he only spent 10 days in special care before coming home. He is now 8 months and the most wonderful thing ever to happen to us, but we never really had a chance to 'recover?' from what happened as we haven't had time! My current pregnancy was not planned (breastfeeding, so no periods AND using condoms!) and I'm having a bit of trouble getting excited about it. I'm really worried that the PE will come back. I know we were very very lucky to have the outcome we did with Toby. He is a picture of health and bright as a button. I went for my booking in appt with the Midwife and talked about my concerns, but she was very dismissive and told me not to worry as I probably wouldn't get it again - the same Midwife that basically told me to pull myself together every time I mentioned I was feeling very unwell when pregnant with Toby. I asked about taking aspirin or calcium supplements and she told me to stop thinking like I was going to get it again, the chances were I wouldn't. I've left messages for the Consultant that treated me before, but heard nothing. Should I be taking something? Is there anything else you are aware of that could reduce the chances of it happening again? So sorry to have harped on like this - only intended to ask about the aspirin!
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Liz Pidgley
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PostSubject: Re: Ask Liz about Pre Eclampsia & related conditions.   Wed 18 Jun 2008, 8:18 pm

Hi Rachel,

Many Congratulations on the birth of your son & your new pregnancy.

You are entitiled to be seen by a consultant early in to your pregnancy under the PRECOG guidelines and these are the guidelines that all hospital trusts should be following - and that means all staff.

It sounds like your midwife may also be somewhat misinformed. The fact you had PE before puts you in a higher risk category of having it again and as such you should be cared for as high risk. At the end of the day, isnt it safer to be cared for as high risk, even if the worst doesnt happen?

I would suggest making an appointment with your GP & demanding to see an expert in the field. I can send you a copy of the PRECOG guidelines if you like? It might help you to feel a little more confident if you have something to show your GP.

There are a few things you should expect from your carers in this pregnancy.

Being started on aspirin as has been proven to help delay an onset of pre-eclampsia, on average in subsequent pregnancies by up to 2 weeks. This depends on Consultant preference as to when it should start, some say prior to pregnancy, others at 6 weeks some at 12 weeks.
Calcium supplements have been recommended for those women who have a low dietary intake although talking this through with the consultant would still be worth it.

Pre-eclampsia is also generally less severe in a subsequent pregnancy and IF it is going to reoccur it generally happens up to 2 weeks later, but as Im sure from reading the posts on the forum, this is not always the case.

I would expect to see a consultant at each appointment and that he/she would do a Doppler scan at about 20 weeks.
This is a special scan that measures the blood flow across the uterine arteries from the placenta. Although not an exact science it is a very good predictor to whether pre-eclampsia is more likely.
From there on, after about 24 weeks, I would be asking for regular growth scans and an appointment with your GP, Midwife, or consultant.
The PRECOG guidelines recommend this be at no longer than 2 weekly intervals until the point of gestation in your previous pregnancy. Then, as a minimum, you should be offered weekly monitoring until delivery.

I hope all this helps but please feel free to contact me again should you have another query or if I have missed something you wanted me to answer!

Best Wishes
Liz

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