One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a woman during pregnancy is pre-eclampsia. This condition affects about 5-7% of pregnant women. It is a very serious condition that must be monitored constantly by a doctor when it is discovered. Preeclampsia can often strike suddenly with no symptoms at all, but usually there are numerous symptoms to watch for. Talk to a naturopathic midwife about pre-eclampsia and what you can do to prevent it.
Pre-eclampsia can cause sudden weight gain, protein in the urine, headaches, fainting, dizzy spells, high blood pressure, swelling and ringing in the ears. Pre-eclampsia can also cause premature birth and can also reduce blood flow to the uterus during pregnancy which can cause abnormal growth in the fetus. Severe cases of preeclampsia can cause numerous problems for the mother including stroke and death. There is no cure for preeclampsia but it can be monitored and managed once it is diagnosed. Your naturopathic midwife and a physician can work together to make sure you and your baby stay safe.
One of the first symptoms of preeclampsia is excess protein in the urine. This may lead many women to think that they must be getting too much protein in their diet and that may be causing the problem. But this is untrue. It actually means they are not getting enough protein in their diet. If a pregnant woman is not getting enough protein in her diet, the body will start to break down it’s own tissues to try to nourish the baby with enough protein. It is crucial that prenant women get at least 80 to 100 grams of protein in their diet each day. If your body does not get that, it will start breaking down the proteins from your tissue and that is excreted in the urine. The bottom line is, eat more protein if you are pregnant so you do not put yourself at risk for preeclampsia.
Some great protein sources to include in your diet are whey protein, beans, nuts, milk, eggs, salmon, cheese, chicken, beef and pork. Grass fed beef is always the best choice when buying meat. And eggs and chicken from range free chickens are also best. This is for the safety of you and your baby. The animals are not injected with hormones or fed antibiotics so you can rest assured that you and your baby will be safe from chemicals that may be in your food.
You should also make sure you take a prenatal supplement or vitamin everyday. Calcium and magnesium are also important vitamins to take while you are pregnant. They will help your liver function properly and go hand in hand with getting enough protein.
Even if you are right on track with your nutrition, it is still important to see a doctor or midwife to monitor your health and your baby’s health. If you start to experience any symptoms of preeclampsia as described above, see your doctor or midwife immediately. Don’t wait until it is too late. Early detection and treatment is the key to survival when it comes to you and your baby.
Get enough protein, take your prenatal vitamins and see your doctor regularly during each trimester. Doing these three things will help you have a healthy pregnancy and will ensure a healthy start to your baby’s life.