Five ways to reduce your risk for preeclampsia

I am grateful I was able to have both my babies full term. Actually both were late and despite me being uncomfortable and wishing they would come just a wee bit sooner than later, but that is not here or there. I have had a few friends with preeclampsia and it was a scary ride for them. The constant worry and not being able to fully in the moment was a struggle for them. A couple of them even had their babies arrive earlier but thankfully the children are healthy and happy.

Preeclampsia is one of the leading causes of maternal death worldwide, estimated to affect 5 to 8 percent of all pregnancies. Preeclampsia is one of the more dangerous conditions for both mom and baby and can have long term health effects on the mother. It is also contributes to 15 percent of preterm births.

While some things are uncontrollable there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk for high blood pressure in pregnancy and potentially improve your pregnancy outcome. Heart health starts early in your pregnancy:

1. Request to have your Vitamin D levels checked. A study found those who were deficient had a five fold increase to preeclampsia if expecting mothers were deficient inD early in their pregnancy.

2. Take probiotics. Probiotics helps to reduce inflammation in the intestines which has suggested to reduce blood pressure

3. Drink water and eat a rainbow. Drinking water and eating foods high in water content can keep blood pressure at bay.

4. Eat good fats every day. Long gone are the fat free and low fat days, eating good fats is excellent for the baby’s growing body and for their brain, which peaks in development at around 28 weeks gestation. Aim to eat 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil, raw nuts and seeds daily and avocados a 2-3 times per week to keep inflammation at bay.

5. Exercise. Our bodies need to move and staying stagnant at a desk all day does nothing great for our hearts to pump blood throughout the body. Make sure you see a certified personal trainer who specializes in pre and postpartum fitness. You can go toHealthy Moms Fitness for one near you.

And don’t forget to support the Chicago Promise Walk and 5K Run for Preeclampsia Promise Walk on Sunday, May 19 in Busse Woods.

This is an annual event that is part of a nationwide effort to support innovative research and raise public awareness about the warning signs of preeclampsia, which is life threatening to both mom and baby.

This is a family-friendly event with emcee and Preeclampsia survivor Anita Padilla from Fox Chicago Morning News Team. Not to mention facepainting, magician, food, music and fun for kids.Register by April 26 to receive a T-shirt in your size.

Like the Preeclampsia Foundation on Facebook for more info.

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