Preeclampsia in subsequent pregnancies

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 in subsequent pregnancies

Postby mandyf » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:17 am

I developed preeclampsia in my first and only pregnancy. It was very scary to me. I wound up in the hospital overnight several times towards the end of my pregnancy and was put on bedrest in my 8th month.

I always wanted two children, but after the first tough pregnancy, I am unsure about doing it again, mainly because of my concern of my health. Who knows what the preeclampsia did to my kidneys the first go around. I need to be in tip-top shape for my little one now and worry what effects another round of preeclampsia would do to my body if I were to develop it again during a second pregnancy.

I read that you if you have a history of preeclampsia, you should see a perinatologist if you want to conceive again. If I choose to conceive again, I would certainly do that.

Has anyone else been in this situation and what did you do? If you conceived a second time, did you develop preeclampsia again and was it worse? Did you not get it the second time around?

It is a very scary thing and is very serious. I know they say it is usually cured when the baby is born, but how do we know that for sure? I wonder if there are any long-term effects of it on our organs that we don't even know about.

I would love to hear some stories so hopefully it will sway me one way or the other because right now, I am in limbo, but am leaning towards no more pregnancies.
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Re : Preeclampsia in subsequent pregnancies

Postby amandaoasis » Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:50 am

I think you will find many women here with positive #2 stories to share. Some of them had Pre-e again, some didn't. Check out the pregnant again board for some who are very close to delivery right now! Risk factors are so different for different women...that's why the visit to the MFM is so important. Did you get full term with your first child? When were you diagnosed with Pre-e? I think these questions are important when determining future risks. I am sure there are also tests a kidney specialist could do to assess the damage to your kidneys.

As you can see by my sig, I had Pre-e/HELLP with my first child. I ran to an MFM afterwards who tested me for "underlying disorders," which may have contributed (usually autoimmune disorders and blood clotting disorders). There haven't been any found and she is very encouraging about a second pregnancy. Of course, it will be monitored much more closely this time! After all my tests, she puts my recurrence rate somewhere between 25 and 60%, but feels it is closer to 25 because of no underlying issues. She also told me that it would likely be later and less severe the second time around, although there are no guarantees.

We are going to try for #2 starting this November. Even with all the info I have now, the fear does not totally subside. As you know, Pre-e is a very scary disease and we would be crazy not to worry about future outcomes.

I hope you get the info you need to make the right decision for your family! Keep us updated, and ask as many questions as you need to.

There are more scientific ladies around here who I'm sure will be around soon to address your questions in more depth.
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Re : Preeclampsia in subsequent pregnancies

Postby mandyf » Sat Aug 15, 2009 03:02 pm

Amanda,

Thank you so much for your feedback and encouragement. To answer your questions, I went to 37 weeks and was induced. They didn't want me to go any further than that. I also was diagnosed with PE at the end of the 7th month.

What does MFM stand for (I'm sorry, I'm new to the forum and am not sure what that means). I would love to see if I have any underlying disorders like you mentioned. Would a perinatologist be able to diagnosis those kind of things? I want to be sure if I try for a second child, that I do everything I can in my power to make sure I will be in good health during my pregnancy.
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Re : Preeclampsia in subsequent pregnancies

Postby amandaoasis » Sat Aug 15, 2009 03:27 pm

I'm sorry! A MFM a doctor specializing in maternal-fetal medicine...same thing as a perinatologist I believe.

From what I understand, making it to term bodes well for a second pregnancy, but I am definitely not a doctor.

To address your other thought about "how do we know if it's cured with delivery?" From my understanding, pre-e is caused by the placenta and once that is removed the issue subsides. There are women who have postpartum pre-e, but that also resolves sometime after delivery usually. Are you feeling any after effects? Some women around here are definitely dealing with BP issues, etc. I hope they will be around to help.

I myself have no after-effects that I have noticed. It was amazing how everything cleared up after delivery.

Congrats on the birth of your baby btw!
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Re : Preeclampsia in subsequent pregnancies

Postby jend01 » Mon Aug 17, 2009 09:29 am

I don't want to scare you more about having a second, I myself have been talking about trying again lately and it is a very hard decision. My case is a little more uncommon when it comes to PE. My story is posted in the experienced forum. I was not diagnosed with PE, I was considered borderline PE and was induced at 36+ due to a large weight gain and slight protein. I ended up getting eclampsia and having seizures 4 days after my son was born and was in ICU for 6 days waiting for my BP to come down to a manageable #. I am now considered chronic hypertensive and will probably be on BP meds for good now. My story is by far not the worst from what I have been reading so things are different for everyone. Last time I saw my kidney specialist he said there may have been some slight kidney scarring, but we won't be sure until my next appointment. I am hopeful that if we do get pregnant again that my chances of getting it again will be lower since I got pretty far into my pregnancy. I will have a team of Dr's including my OB, kidney specialist, and MFM following my next pregnancy very closely so that in itself gives me more confidence that everything will be better then the first time around. I am still really scared but if I do decide to get pregnant again there will be lots of support to get me through. :)

Also from what I have been reading if you do get PE the second time it isn't as bad as the first. I may be wrong, but I have seen that in a few posts that I have read.
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Re : Preeclampsia in subsequent pregnancies

Postby brooklynsmom » Mon Aug 17, 2009 06:31 pm

Welcome! I had Pre-e and HELLP syndrome with my first pregnancy, which ended up with an induction at 34 weeks 2 days. I had been on bedrest for mild pre-e since 32 weeks. My second pregnancy went full term without any bp issues and delivered at 39 weeks 3 days. I did, however, develop gestational diabetes. I was also tested for underlying disorders prior to TTC #2, and they came back negative. I was also followed by my regular OB and a MFM specialist my second pregnancy. I am now 9 weeks pregnancy with my third, and am going to be closely watched again for this pregnancy, but I am hoping Pre-e stays FAR away!:) Good luck!
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Re : Preeclampsia in subsequent pregnancies

Postby blznbec » Tue Aug 18, 2009 02:15 am

I went into code blue eclamptic seizures with my son at 32 weeks. I went 36 weeks, two days with my daughter when pre-e suddenly reared it's ugly head. I delivered my daughter 24 hours later with zero issues and she came out healthy!

I almost died with my son, so I can understand your fears of trying again. It took us a long time to get the courage to try again, but knew that we would take precautions, have better care the second time around and were definitely more informed and aware of preeclampisa (symptoms and signs...something I wasn't even aware in my first pregnancy...yes my doctor was an idiot), which made our decision easier. It was still difficult and I was always wondering when I would get pre-e, something I don't think could be avoided, but after passing my son's 32 week delivery date, I was more confident I could go full-term. I didn't go full-term, but was happy at 36 weeks. There is no way I would chance a 3rd pregnancy (age plays a big part of that scenario for me), and am thrilled I survived the first pregnancy to take the chance on a second pregnancy.

Good luck in your decision. Having trust in your doctors is key, along with trusting your instincts on what you should do and how you listen to your body if you decide to venture into a second pregnancy.

Becky
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Re : Preeclampsia in subsequent pregnancies

Postby katey » Thu Aug 27, 2009 07:46 am

hi ya,
What is the difference between mild and severe pre eclampsia. I think mine was mild?? As i got it at 36 wks. I was hospitalised at 36 weeks due to high BP (had been climbing a while but was high normal until that point) and protein in my urine. THey kept me in hospital and induced at 37 weeks. Had natural vaginal delivery with no complications. Baby was fine at 7lbs. baby is now 16 months and we are trying again. Doc told me my risk of getting it again is only 20%. I have never had renal checks or cardio checks, should i?? I dont think things are as advanced here in ireland. K
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Re : Preeclampsia in subsequent pregnancies

Postby raspbeari » Thu Aug 27, 2009 02:33 pm

hi katey,
I'm not exactly sure what the difference is between mild and severe PE. Personally though I would think mild PE would still be very concerning, because with PE things can be unpredictable and change for the worse very quickly.

You may want to post your own thread with your questions, that way more people may see it and will be able to give you their responses. There are a quite a few women here that should be able to give you some good input.
I think it's very good for you to be asking these questions.


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