have you changed your diet?

Are you pregnant again after having preeclampsia once already in a previous pregnancy? Post your thoughts/concerns here - there are others who share your feelings. This is also the home of our Bedrest Buddies Support group.

have you changed your diet?

Postby mychaelelaine » Tue Feb 28, 2012 09:14 am

i was wondering, after experiencing preeclampsia, pih, and/or hellp and being pregnant again, has anyone strictly modified their diet? i had high blood pressure 5 years before i became pregnant so they called super imposed preeclampsia (i think). so, my situation might be different than some on this board if you didn't have high blood pressure before being pregnant. i don't put any salt on my food, ever. BUT, everything we eat is loaded with sodium. several years ago, i tried a very low sodium diet (attempted under 600 mgs). it was horribly difficult. i wonder if you already have high blood pressure, how helpful is drastically lowering sodium intake. i am doing it just because, even if it won't help in the end. BUT, i'm just wondering if i can lower my chances of developing preeclampsia by strictly modifying my diet. i know the week and a half i was in the hospital, i wasn't on a restricted diet @ all! also, i went to the doctor up to 13 weeks post partum. my doctor NEVER asked what i eat. thoughts?
10/17/2011 ~ Mychael Elaine was born sleeping. We miss and will always love you!
9/16/2012 ~ Michael Leon was born, God is so good! Severe pre-e again, induced at 34 weeks, c-section due to baby's heart decelerating with each contraction. 1 week in NICU. I'm done! :)
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Re: have you changed your diet?

Postby blythe » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:11 am

I know the Cochrane reviews and our Experts have said that there isn't good research to support restricting sodium in pregnancy. On the other hand, I vaguely remember an article from a while ago (try our search, maybe try user: Laura and keywords: salt-sensitive hypertensive -- sorry I'm on the run today and can't find it for you!) that said to just assume that if your blood pressure is wonky in pregnancy that you're probably also salt-sensitive. So, important outside of pregnancy, but the placenta and hemodynamics of pregnancy end up working so counter-intuitively so often in this disease that I've given up making assumptions for the way our bodies function during pregnancy. One of the very many fascinating and frustrating things about this disease.
Heather, mom to
#1 7-18-03 - 5#8oz 37 weeks PE/PIH
#2 8-11-06 - 6#14oz 37 weeks PE/PIH
#3 9-10-09 - 5#10oz 37 weeks PE/PIH
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Re: have you changed your diet?

Postby MomTimesThree » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:11 am

I'm going to search for that, because yesterday before my bp spike, I was on the go and I had a saltier than normal lunch... Thanks for making me think about this!
2008-Our Baby Girl, PTL born too early at 30w6d, Fought so hard... Forever Loved & Missed
2010- Lil' Bro, Pre-E at 29 weeks... Induced at 36w6d, Born 37w
2012- Lil' Sis, Super-imposed pre-e at 25 weeks, PTL & GD at 35 weeks, Evicted 36w
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Re: have you changed your diet?

Postby alviarin » Tue Feb 28, 2012 02:14 pm

I am on a gluten-free diet, but that is only because I figured out that gluten is a migraine trigger for me.

Now that I'm pregnant I've cut way back on caffeine and I'm trying to cut out sugar.

I'm a "chronic hypertensive" and I'm salt sensitive. Eating out can raise my blood pressure (especially Mexican or Asian food). I don't try to limit myself to a certain sodium intake, just follow my cardio's reccomendation to avoid the salt shaker and beware of salt in fast/canned/processed food. We still use sea salt when we cook at home, just not as much as some people would like. :) All and all, I don't think cutting back on salt can prevent pre-eclampsia but if you are a chronic hypertensive like me it can be a strategy to help keep your blood pressure controlled.
Hypothyroid mom to Connor and Claire
(severe pre-e at 38 weeks & "mild" pre-e at 37 weeks)
& baby Annabelle
(chronic HTN & GD, superimposed pre-e @34 weeks, induction @37 weeks)
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Re: have you changed your diet?

Postby danielsmom » Tue Feb 28, 2012 03:04 pm

I don't know how helpful this is, but I've quit caffeine mainly to rule out reasons why my BP may NOT be up (although it wouldn't make it go up 50 points). For the first 20 weeks, I just really cut back, but then I'd get a higher reading in a morning appointment and wonder if it was because of my morning coffee. Also, if I'd have a can of soda for dinner and not have one the next day, I'd get a headache. Great, another PE symptom! So it was easier and more peace of mind for me to completely go decaf.

Anti-histimines or decongestants can jack up your BP as well.

I really do not believe that diet can cause or prevent pre-e. I think pre-e is usually caused by poor placentation. However, as for any pregnant woman, I think eating a complete diet - the more natural the better - can help your body function the easiest. Pregnancy is enough strain on the body, so why not help it out. There is 2 other things that I do: eat plenty of eggs and get plenty of calcium. Of course, this is in moderation, like eating eggs once or twice a week and being sure I get all my daily recommended calcium from food (which might absorb better than coming from a supplement). Eggs contain albumin, which is thought to aid the liver and possibly kidneys. Calcium is something that some studies say prevents adverse prenatal outcomes, and of course some object to that... but hey, who knows.
Miscarriage Feb 05 & Dec 07
Daniel born Feb 09 at 27w5d, 1 lb 1 oz/12 inches (severe IUGR) due to Severe Pre-E & HELLP. Now tall for age and no complications.
Diagnosed with MTHFR
Cornual Ectopic miscarriage Mar 11
Natalie born 6-5-12 at full term, 7 lb 11 oz & 21.5 inches, progesterone 2-8 weeks (for suspected luteal phase defect), lovenox 6-29 weeks, lda 0-36 weeks, folic.
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Re: have you changed your diet?

Postby lennoxlm1 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 03:22 pm

before I became pregnant I cut all meat and dairy out because I was trying to lose any extra pounds when I found out we were pregnant again I added everything back I think a balanced diet it the best thing, and I try not to fret about the little things I have eaten (like ice cream) :)
Lee and Melissa,
Delilah 4 years old, born at 38 weeks. Isaac 3 years old born at 36 weeks due to pre-e. Shiloh 2 years old born at 37 weeks due to high b/p.
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Re: have you changed your diet?

Postby caryn » Tue Feb 28, 2012 05:04 pm

There's an odd thing that goes on with this disease - we all "know" that a healthy lifestyle will help to prevent disease, but we also know that the researchers who work on *this* disease tell us that there's no evidence lifestyle modifications will affect our risk in pregnancy.

That's because this disease appears to be set during implantation, which seems to be governed by a unique part of the immune system that's just for managing placentas. It makes sense that we'd have this, since reproduction is a time when we simply have to cooperate with a foreign organ, and it makes sense that it would be broadly isolated from impact from diet and exercise, since eggs used to come with all that was necessary to develop an entire new organism (think of how chicken eggs get no further input between being laid and being hatched!). During the initial development of the placenta, the pregnancy isn't really drawing down much in the way of maternal resources, and it's later in the pregnancy when the fetus begins to demand more than the placenta can ferry (because the implantation is not working properly) that we start to see symptoms.

That said, you'd way rather go into a pregnancy healthy than not. If the placental development doesn't proceed normally, recovery from a nasty acute pregnancy condition is going to be much easier in a fit healthy young woman. If you know you're a salt-sensitive hypertensive outside of pregnancy, then odds are one way that you manage your underlying conditions is by eating less salt, but that isn't going to affect the course of your preeclampsia so far as the best research says at the moment.

(BTW, eating eggs - which have albumins in them, mostly ovalbumin - doesn't support the liver particularly. But they're yummy. :) )
Science! The articles you don't want to miss:
The Preeclampsia Puzzle (New Yorker) and Silent Struggle: A New Theory of Pregnancy (New York Times)
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Caryn, @carynjrogers, who is not a doctor and who talks about science stuff *way* too much
DS Oscar born by emergent C-section at 34 weeks for fetal indicators, due to severe PE
DD Bridget born by C-section after water broke at 39 weeks after a healthy pregnancy
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Re: have you changed your diet?

Postby alexis » Tue Feb 28, 2012 07:12 pm

Interesting - I am a chronic but not sodium sensitive (conclusively proven during the Great Salt and Vinegar Potato Chip Binge of 2009). My understanding is that a sizable number of hypertensives are not salt sensitive, tough if you don't know, it's probably worth trying.

I aim for a healthy, balanced diet. I pay a little more attention to my blood sugar, since I have PCOS and am at risk for gestational diabetes. I have actually eaten a lot of eggs during both pregnancies. No diet theories, I just really seem to like omelettes when I'm pregnant. With buttered toast. I also am prone to iron deficiency anemia even when not pregnant so try to eat more iron rich foods. (and, having gone into Caesarean #2 with a hemoglobin of 9.8, I'd probably be even more aggressive on that if I have a third. I took SlowFe, but clearly, not enough.)
Chronic hypertension
Aliza - 01/05/2007 - Severe preeclampsia, emergency CS 37 weeks
Isaac - 09/26/2011 - controlled on 150mg Toprol, NO PE, 39 weeks!
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Re: have you changed your diet?

Postby danielsmom » Tue Feb 28, 2012 09:04 pm

Caryn,
Maybe you can help me sort this out. Nothing I read is really clear on it, but has enough buzz words to get me interested. Here's one article:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency ... 003480.htm

Is the albumin mentioned there a completely different thing than the albumin found in eggs? Or is it the same, just coming from a different source? So egg albumin does not sort of supplement a liver function of producing albumin?

This also got me interested from the article:
"Albumin helps move many small molecules through the blood, including bilirubin, calcium, progesterone, and medications. It plays an important role in keeping the fluid from the blood from leaking out into the tissues."

That sounds like albumin and VEGF have a connected role as far as edema, and downline BP issues, and pre-e perfect storm stuff (http://www.preeclampsia.org/forum/viewt ... 12&t=16607). By the way, great post. :)
Miscarriage Feb 05 & Dec 07
Daniel born Feb 09 at 27w5d, 1 lb 1 oz/12 inches (severe IUGR) due to Severe Pre-E & HELLP. Now tall for age and no complications.
Diagnosed with MTHFR
Cornual Ectopic miscarriage Mar 11
Natalie born 6-5-12 at full term, 7 lb 11 oz & 21.5 inches, progesterone 2-8 weeks (for suspected luteal phase defect), lovenox 6-29 weeks, lda 0-36 weeks, folic.
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Re: have you changed your diet?

Postby mychaelelaine » Tue Feb 28, 2012 09:18 pm

guys, thanks so much!! i have to type reports tonight but i will read tomorrow. thanks so very much for the input! :) :)
10/17/2011 ~ Mychael Elaine was born sleeping. We miss and will always love you!
9/16/2012 ~ Michael Leon was born, God is so good! Severe pre-e again, induced at 34 weeks, c-section due to baby's heart decelerating with each contraction. 1 week in NICU. I'm done! :)
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