Challenges of Parenting Multiples - PDF FILE
Preeclampsia and Eclampsia
What are preeclampsia and eclampsia?
Preeclampsia is a syndrome marked by a sudden increase in the blood pressure of a pregnant woman after the 20th week of pregnancy. It can affect the mother?s kidney, liver, and brain. If left untreated, the condition can be fatal for the mother and/or the baby and can lead to long-term health problems.
Eclampsia is a more severe form of preeclampsia that can cause seizures and coma in the mother.
Amniotic Fluid Abnormalities
What is preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia, also known as toxemia, is a complex disorder that affects about 5 to 8 percent of pregnant women. You\'re diagnosed with preeclampsia if you have high blood pressure and protein in your urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The condition most commonly shows up after you\'ve reached 37 weeks, but it can develop any time in the second half of pregnancy, as well as during labor or even after delivery (usually in the first 24 to 48 hours). It\'s also possible to get preeclampsia before 20 weeks, but only in rare cases, such as with a molar pregnancy. Preeclampsia can range from mild to severe, and it can progress slowly or rapidly. The only way to get better is to deliver your baby.
Cervical Insufficiency (Incompetent Cervix) and Cerclage
The amniotic fluid that surrounds a developing baby plays a crucial role in normal development. This clear-colored liquid cushions and protects the baby and provides it with fluids. By the second trimester, the baby is able to breathe the fluid into his lungs and to swallow it, promoting normal growth and development of the lungs and gastrointestinal system. Amniotic fluid also allows the baby to move around, which aids in normal development of muscle and bone.
The phrase ?cervical insufficiency? (CI) refers to a cervix that opens too early, before the baby is full term. This condition is also called incompetent cervix. The cervix is the opening at the base of the uterus.
Intrauterine Growth Restriction
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a condition characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and electrolyte disturbance. Mild cases are treated with dietary changes, rest and antacids. More severe cases often require a stay in the hospital so that the mother can receive fluid and nutrition through an intravenous line (IV). DO NOT take any medications to solve this problem without consulting your health care provider first.
The placenta is an unborn baby?s lifeline. It forms from the same cells as the embryo, and attaches to the inner wall of the uterus. The placenta forms connections with the mother?s blood supply, from which it transfers oxygen and nutrients to the baby. It also connects with the baby?s blood supply, from which it removes wastes and transfers them to the mother?s blood (her kidneys then dispose of the waste).
Although pregnancy is said to last nine months, healthcare providers track pregnancy by weeks and days. The normal duration of pregnancy is approximately 37 to 42 weeks, with the estimated due date at 40 weeks or 280 days from the first day of the last menstrual period.