by firstname.lastname@example.org (322 Posts), Thu Jul 02, 2009 04:25 am
Thank you for your question.
In direct answer to your question, we cannot say definitively that being lighter and fitter will definitely reduce your risk for preeclampsia & HELLP syndrome. The overall rate for recurrence of HELLP syndrome has been described to be between 8-20%. The risk of recurrent preeclampsia of any severity varies depending on issues such as chronic hypertension, history of preeclampsia, presence of underlying chronic diseases (ie diabetes, obesity, autoimmune issues), etc. However, theoretically, controlled weight loss would lessen the likelihood of having those comorbid factors (obesity, diabetes) that are normally associated with increased risk for preeclampsia.
In terms of exercise, recent data published by Sorenson et al, 2003 & Yeo et al, 2001 do seem to indicate that regular exercise, especially done prior to pregnancy up to the 1st 20wks of gestation, does result in a lower risk for devleopment of preeclampsia (in Sorenson's study, up to a 35% reduction in risk).
I applaud you for your current exercise regimen, which sounds very suitable. ACOG does recommend that healthy women without severe contraindications to exertion (ie cardiac or pulmonary disease that restricts exercise tolerance) participate in regular physical activity as often as possible in pregnancy. I myself usually have patients give an honest fitness assessment of themselves when they start in our practice. I usually urge a minimum of 3 sessions/wk at 30min per session of some aerobic, low impact, low trauma activity.
With regular exercise, you'll not only have greater stamina and physical strength, but it may help control your blood pressure and wt gain in pregnancy.
Lastly, in regards to caffeine, there are varying opinions, however, most experts tend to agree that limiting caffeine consumption as much as you can is best. However, moderate levels of caffeine consumption (150mg-300mg/day max) does not appear to have a negative effect on pregnancy.