Since the pandemic hit, the coronavirus has been negatively affecting our sensitive populations in large numbers. In most cases, people understand certain categories of people leave sufferers vulnerable to severe side effects. However, there is a prominent group that slips under the radar: pregnant women.
It takes a lot of carefulness to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Getting sick with a condition as serious as a contagious virus can harm you and your baby. Pregnancy-related conditions like preeclampsia can also be fatal.
As the data develops, a recent study discovered coronavirus increases the probability of developing this disorder. If you’re currently pregnant and dealing with coronavirus, here’s why this condition can raise your chances of developing preeclampsia.
What Is Preeclampsia?
Many people have heard the term but are unfamiliar with what this condition does. Preeclampsia is a complication that indicates damage to a number of organ systems. After the 20 week point, some pregnant women develop this disease after a spike in their blood pressure.
When pregnant women don’t seek immediate treatment for this condition, both the mother and unborn child are at higher risk of death. Typically, women suffering with preeclampsia have to immediately deliver the baby for optimal results.
The origins of this condition is believed to start with a woman’s placenta, which is what ultimately nourishes the unborn baby. While everyone doesn’t exhibit immediate symptoms, others have a hard time recognizing them because they associate them with regular pregnancy characteristics. Common preeclampsia symptoms include:
- Vision troubles
- Severe headaches and migraines
- Trouble urinating
- Shortness of breath
- Kidney issues resulting in excess urine protein
Another sign of preeclampsia that pregnant women ignore is irregular weight gain. The average pregnancy results in between 20 and 40 pounds of weight gain, so if you’re gaining a substantial amount of weight or notice extreme swelling in your hands and face, seek medical attention.
What’s the Correlation Between Coronavirus and Preeclampsia?
Last year, the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology produced findings on the correlation between coronavirus and preeclampsia. Studies showed that pregnant women diagnosed with coronavirus had over a 60% chance of developing this condition, even if they’re asymptomatic. In fact, their cases became even more severe after being infected with this virus.
Over 790,000 pregnant women participated in the study with nearly 16,000 of them being affected by coronavirus. The severity of this condition without the virus comes with damaging results. For some women, they experience permanent symptoms like blindness and brain hemorrhage.
Because of this, healthcare professionals are being advised to recognize the signs of both conditions in order to adequately diagnose this condition. The earlier preeclampsia symptoms exhibit themselves, the worse they become over time. This is especially important for mothers with serious symptoms as they may have to immediately induce their labor.
Keeping Yourself Safe Until Delivery
If you’re currently pregnant, you should take precautions to avoid contracting coronavirus. Doing so reduces your chances of developing preeclampsia and having complications.
You’ll still need prenatal care, so it’s important to make your scheduled meetings. If you’re not already high risk, you may be able to attend virtual prenatal appointments to guarantee social distancing measures. If you have been diagnosed with coronavirus, it’s important that you and your unborn child are closely monitored to avoid premature birth and stillbirth.
Additionally, you need to maintain a healthy diet, get plenty of rest and seek treatment to reduce your symptoms. Depending on your condition, be prepared for an extended hospital visit until your symptoms reduce or you give birth.
Thousands of mothers and infants alike lose their lives to preeclampsia every year. Being in a pandemic increases your risk of developing this condition and even losing your baby. Because of this, staying on top of your health is essential during your pregnancy, especially after a positive coronavirus diagnosis.
Rather than trying to diagnose your own symptoms, make sure you’re receiving adequate prenatal care. Speak to your healthcare provider about what you need to do in order to have the healthiest and safest possible pregnancy term, whether you have virtual or in-person visits.