Gestosis: How to protect yourself & your baby
The so-called gestosis is a disease that only pregnant women can get. But with the right medical treatment, it no longer has to pose a risk to the pregnancy. We show you here how you can protect yourself and your child from gestosis and give you all the important information about the pregnancy disease.
What is a gestosis?
While the gestosis used to be known only as pregnancy poisoning, the disease is now also known as preeclampsia or pregnancy hypertension. It occurs mainly in the last third of pregnancy and is accompanied by various symptoms, especially high blood pressure, water retention and protein excretion in the urine.
Pregnancy poisoning is different for every pregnant woman and so a doctor should always be consulted when the first signs appear. If a gestosis is detected in good time and the doctor can take appropriate countermeasures, there is a good chance that mother and child will survive the pregnancy unscathed.
However, insofar as the gestosis assumes a severe course of the disease, it can certainly lead to a premature birth. On the other hand, if it is not recognized at all or only too late, in the worst case it can even lead to the death of the child or mother, as often happens in developing countries.
A more severe form of preeclampsia is HELLP syndrome. It is a declining function of the liver and an associated blood clotting disorder. The pregnancy often has to be terminated immediately by a caesarean section. Today, however, when diseases are detected early, attempts are made to maintain the pregnancy for as long as the care of the child allows.
Incidentally, the term pregnancy poisoning is now outdated, because it used to be assumed that this disease was caused by poisoning.
Risk factors of gestational hypertension
Around five to ten percent of women in Switzerland suffer from a gestosis. Unfortunately, the causes have not yet been clearly clarified, but genetics is now increasingly coming into the focus of doctors. It is now known that pregnant women whose mother suffered from a gestosis have an approximately 25 percent higher risk of also developing it. If the sister and mother were affected, the probability is already around 35 percent. Cases in the father’s family are also considered risk factors, although no precise risk calculations can be given here either.
The risk of a gestosis is also increased if the pregnant woman is either very young or has already exceeded the age of 35 and is therefore one of the late labourers. Severely overweight women are also among the risk groups for pregnancy poisoning – as are women with kidney disease and diabetes. In addition, it is favored by factors such as excessive stress and high mental stress during pregnancy.
Preventive measures of a gestosis
First of all, it is of course important that you regularly attend all preventive medical check-ups. Also pay attention to whether water is getting trapped in your legs or hands and whether your face may be bloated.
If you have water retention in your legs, you can take effective countermeasures by simply elevating your legs. Make sure your feet are higher than your pelvis. Contrast showers can also provide relief from swollen legs. You should also get enough exercise so that your blood pressure in your legs is stimulated.
Sufficient relaxation is another measure to avoid high blood pressure during pregnancy. Don’t overload yourself at work or with the planning for the birth. Always give yourself small breaks in between to calm down.
A healthy, balanced diet is of course recommended to all pregnant women. If you are at risk of a gestosis, the doctors will probably recommend eating foods containing protein, such as fish, cheese, milk, nuts and legumes. If your body hungers for protein during pregnancy, too many other reserves are automatically attacked – which can be a first warning of the gestosis. So that your body can also utilize the proteins, you should consume additional carbohydrates in the form of wholemeal bread or potatoes.
During pregnancy, we women find ourselves in a special situation that often costs us a lot of strength. Therefore, allow yourself enough rest and relaxation and make sure you eat a balanced and healthy diet. Take all check-ups regularly and contact your doctor if you first suspect a gestosis – not only for your sake but also for the sake of your baby.
More on the subject:
Pampering program for the baby in the womb
Labor law in Switzerland during pregnancy
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