Preeclampsia-free second pregnancy?

Are you considering having another child after preeclampsia? Trying again after preeclampsia can be an emotional challenge. You can find support with others who share your concerns here.

Preeclampsia-free second pregnancy?

Postby Tierney03 » Thu Nov 21, 2013 01:52 pm

Hi! I'm newly registered, though I've kept a close eye on this site since I had my son.

Last year on 12/13/12 I gave birth to a healthy baby boy at 37+2 after being diagnosed with preeclampsia the day before.
My preeclampsia came on suddenly - at my 37 week checkup my bp was 140/90 with no protein. Two days later my bp was 160/104 and 2+ protein - as I was considered "term", I was induced promptly (thankfully).

Anyway, my son Emmet was completely healthy and had no issues. However, my preeclampsia actually got WORSE for the first two days after delivery. My bp got up to 180/120, and my liver enzymes became elevated, although I never had low platelets. The whole experience was terrifying nonetheless with the magnesium sulfate for 24+ hours, etc. I also was on BP meds for 5 weeks postpartum until it came back down to my normal of 112/60.

I DEFINITELY want to have another baby, and have been cleared by 2 MFMs to do so. They cited a 20-30% chance of recurrence as I have no underlying disorders or health issues, but it is still a little scary!

I was wondering if any of you have gone on to have a healthy pregnancy after preeclampsia and/or HELLP? What did you do differently if anything? Crossing my fingers that there is hope for me! Thanks for your time.
Mom to Emmet, born 12/13/12 - Mild PE at 37 weeks turned severe postpartum
Tierney03
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Re: Preeclampsia-free second pregnancy?

Postby sam10 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 07:33 pm

Hello and welcome.
A subsequent pregnancy after having experienced PE/HELLP is scary and makes most women quite nervous. If you already talked to the MFMs, that is great and their estimate of 20-30% is pretty much standard expectation that you would develop it again. Having said that, most women don't have it again or later and milder.

PE is caused by a not properly functioning placenta; thus not much can be done. What helped me, however, was to get a sense of control. I had a great doctor (MFM) and care team, saw a therapist regularly to help me through my anxiety, I took the (for ME) recommended supplements (Vit D, Calcium, prenatal vit, vit B6 and B12, and extra folic acid). I learned as much as possible about PE, so I knew what the doctors were talking about. It was helpful to connect with women who had experienced the same (e.g. this website and forums). And I remained in the workforce. Having to go to work every day was extremely helpful, as I had a non-pregnancy related focus and could forget about my worries every day for a while.


PE can get worse after delivery before it gets better again. All what's going on in your body has been set in motion and it sometimes takes a bit before your body can stop and reverse/repair the damage.

Let us know how it goes:-)
~Julija (40)
MC 3/2009 and 3/2011
Henry (1/1/2010-1/7/2010) - forever loved and missed; severe PE with Hellp; partial placental abruption, classical c-section at 25.6 weeks
Matilda (Nov. 2012, born at 35.4 weeks) - severe PE


Our pain has been put into words, placed into empty cradles, to remember that all our babies lived, that they mattered and always will. - Field of Cradles http://www.fieldofcradles.org/
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Re: Preeclampsia-free second pregnancy?

Postby Tierney03 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 07:39 pm

Thank you so much for replying! I apologize as I haven't checked in recently.
I will definitely be on top of things next time, and make a plan with my doctors well before we try to conceive again (which won't be for a couple years).
I like the idea of keeping my mind occupied, especially because I had HORRIBLE anxiety after my first birth experience with my son.
I've done ridiculous amounts of research on this subject, and am now realizing I'll never know what's going to happen (or not happen) with a second pregnancy until I am pregnant again!
I just wish I had more power to prevent it, but will do everything I can.
Still hoping to hear from moms who didn't have it in a second or third pregnancy :)
Mom to Emmet, born 12/13/12 - Mild PE at 37 weeks turned severe postpartum
Tierney03
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Re: Preeclampsia-free second pregnancy?

Postby ccake79 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 08:38 am

I had severe pre-eclampsia with my first pregnancy and had to have an emergency c-section at 36 weeks.

3 weeks ago I had my second baby. It was a really difficult decision to try for another baby as we were given a 1 in 5 risk of me developing pre-eclampsia again. I felt it was worth it though and I knew the signs to watch out for and was confident in the medication I might need to take if I did get it again.

I didn't develop pre-eclampsia during my second pregnancy. My bp was perfect all the way through. I did get gestational diabetes and polyhydramnios, but I have to say they were no way near as scary as a pre-eclampsia had been. However, what I have had is postpartum hypertension - I had normal bp during pregnancy, low bp just after my c-section, then on day 5 postpartum my bp suddenly decided it wouldn't play ball after all. I'm now back on nifedipine to control it. I have no idea how long it'll last this time (lasted 6 months last time), but I have to say it was totally worth it to have another baby!

In the end it's a really personal decision and you have to weigh all the pros and cons.
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Re: Preeclampsia-free second pregnancy?

Postby Tierney03 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 02:32 pm

That is so good to hear! Did you do anything different in your second pregnancy? Did you have other risk factors for pree besides prior diagnosis? I am really happy for you! Hopefully your bp behaves itself soon :)

ccake79 wrote:I had severe pre-eclampsia with my first pregnancy and had to have an emergency c-section at 36 weeks.

3 weeks ago I had my second baby. It was a really difficult decision to try for another baby as we were given a 1 in 5 risk of me developing pre-eclampsia again. I felt it was worth it though and I knew the signs to watch out for and was confident in the medication I might need to take if I did get it again.

I didn't develop pre-eclampsia during my second pregnancy. My bp was perfect all the way through. I did get gestational diabetes and polyhydramnios, but I have to say they were no way near as scary as a pre-eclampsia had been. However, what I have had is postpartum hypertension - I had normal bp during pregnancy, low bp just after my c-section, then on day 5 postpartum my bp suddenly decided it wouldn't play ball after all. I'm now back on nifedipine to control it. I have no idea how long it'll last this time (lasted 6 months last time), but I have to say it was totally worth it to have another baby!

In the end it's a really personal decision and you have to weigh all the pros and cons.
Mom to Emmet, born 12/13/12 - Mild PE at 37 weeks turned severe postpartum
Tierney03
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Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:10 am
Location: Colorado

Re: Preeclampsia-free second pregnancy?

Postby ccake79 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:22 am

Tierney03 wrote:That is so good to hear! Did you do anything different in your second pregnancy? Did you have other risk factors for pree besides prior diagnosis? I am really happy for you! Hopefully your bp behaves itself soon :)


Sorry I haven't replied sooner - so busy with my two little ones!

I didn't do anything differently in my second pregnancy, except keep a close eye on my bp myself (got a home bp monitor). I had weekly bp checks with the midwife from 30 weeks and extra scans to check baby's growth and that the placenta was working well.

I had no risk factors for pre-e.

My bp is now behaving! I was able to come off the meds last month :)
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