If you are planning a pregnancy or even thinking about having a baby in the near future, prenatal experts at St. Elizabeth Healthcare say that now is the time to start working with your medical team to prevent preeclampsia and other pregnancy complications.
Starting early can help lower the risks for preeclampsia, a common complication in which the mother’s blood pressure will become elevated and there is protein in the urine. Taking steps to prevent preeclampsia also helps improve the life and health of mother and baby.
Local 12’s Liz Bonis met little Ranihya Davis, who was one-day-old and healthy at the time of filming.
“[Ranihya’s] happy,” said her mother, Stephanie Davis. “Doesn’t really cry unless she’s hungry.”
Dr. Neil Martin says some of that is because her mom Stephanie did everything possible to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
“If you want a healthy baby, you have to have a healthy mom,” he said.
A new report from the National Institutes of Health however, says many moms are struggling with preeclampsia.
“Preeclampsia is a condition you only find in pregnancy, usually as they get further along in their pregnancy, generally their blood pressure will become elevated and there is protein in the urine,” said Dr. Martin.
Preeclampsia is tough on mom and baby. Moms can even have a seizure during the pregnancy which can cause problems for the baby as well.
It’s also tough on the health care system. A report found that preeclampsia complications are now more than $2 billion a year to America’s health care system.
Based on that information, here’s what they want everyone to know: The only way we are able to control those costs is to prevent this problem, so there’s a couple things that experts say every new mom should know.
“If you are in an elevated weight or BMI, that will put you at risk. Not smoking will help with that as well,” said Dr. Martin.
Dr. Martin says good prenatal care, as Stephanie was able to get with little Ranihya, also makes a difference. It can let you and your medical team monitor any potential complications with mom so that baby is born healthy.