by sarahedgcomb (19 Posts), Sun Dec 14, 2003 04:39 am
I couldn't help but chime in on this conversation. As some of you might have read in earlier posts, I think nutrition plays a big role in a healthy pregnancy - specifially protien - healthy protien from lean meat, nuts, beans, milk and eggs. Even "mainstream", well accepted pregnancy books from authors like Dr. Sears and others, recommend that a pregnant women eats at least 100 grams of protein a day - espeically in the 2nd trimester.
Of course, there are other reasons that women get preeclampsia, PIH and eclampsia - genetic mutations, metabolic disorders, underlying medical conditions like chronic hypertension, age, number of pregnancies and simply bad luck. I don't think that Megdemar was trying to insult the women on this site or downplay that there might be other reasons why one would become preeclamptic.
I've read a few posts on this site say that the rate of preeclampsia in poor and developing countries where malnutrition is commonplace, isn't any higher than in developed countries. Well, that is simply not true. In India, the infant mortality rate is something like 90 out of 1000. In the US, it's 6.8 - or around there. India has a very very high rate of eclampsia, and the mortality rate for the mothers with eclampsia is very very high as well. Most of this is linked to malnutrition.
I think that doctors and midwives, and us (as mothers and moms-to-be) should look at the "whole picture". I haven't run into a midwife or doctor, in the US or The Netherlands, who has asked me at my first appointment, what my diet is like. Never has a doctor or midwife talked to me about how much protein I should consume and what role nutrition plays in pregancy. Sure, I've gotten a pamphlet or booklet about what not to eat during pregnancy - like soft cheese and raw foods like fish - but never a question or a conversation about what's really important to eat during pregnancy. What's more (and on a slightly different train of thought..)every pregnancy magazine and pictures of pregnant women that you see, shows very thin model-like women, with little "bumps" where the baby is. I don't of any pregnant women who really look like that. Maybe, when they're 3 or 4 months along.
Of course, nutrition alone isn't going to solve the preeclampsia mystery and there are lots of women who eat well and still get preeclampsia. But I think instead of getting a bit defensive or guilt-ridden when someone comes on this site and suggests that nutrition plays a role in preeclampsia, we should be pushing our doctors and midwives to educate us and other women on the importance of nutrition during pregnancy. As well as pushing for the appropriate tests and screenings and proactive care that helps lessen the severity of preeclampsia.