Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 50

50
Amy Urban experienced
preeclampsia after the
birth of her two boys,
Quinn and Daniel. With
her family-including
her husband, Dale-in
mind, she knows to
keep a close eye on
her heart health.

You're More
at Risk of
Preeclampsia If:
Lee Padove, MD,
cardiologist,
Northside
Hospital

This is the first time you
have given birth
You had preeclampsia
during a previous pregnancy
You have chronic (long-term)
high blood pressure or
chronic kidney disease
You have a history of
thrombophilia, a condition that
increases risk of blood clots
You are pregnant with multiple
babies, such as twins or triplets
You became pregnant
using in vitro fertilization
You have a family
history of preeclampsia
You have type 1 or
type 2 diabetes
You have obesity
You have lupus, an
autoimmune disease
You are older than 40

Source: Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention

preeclampsia poses an immediate
threat to pregnancy and potential
threats to heart health later in life.
Northside Hospital cardiologist
Lee Padove, MD, says preeclampsia
is most common during pregnancy,
but 5 percent of the time the condition occurs after delivery, as in
Urban's case.
Dr. Padove founded the Maternal
Heart Health Clinic at Northside
Hospital to address the care gap
between maternal and cardiac care.
"When an expectant mother
develops high blood pressure or
other symptoms related to preeclampsia, it's important to focus
on the safety of the mother as well
as address risks associated with
future pregnancies," Dr. Padove
says. "That's why the Maternal
Heart Health Clinic was created,
to provide these patients with comprehensive cardiovascular care for
the rest of their lives."

MONITORING
AND TREATMENT

When suspicion of preeclampsia
exists, a thorough evaluation may
include hospitalization, so health
care providers can monitor the
mother, baby and placenta.
Treatment for preeclampsia
includes increased prenatal visits
and more frequent blood tests,

SUMMER 2020 VIM & VIGOR

FdVVSU2080_49-51_Preclampsia.indd 50

4/4/20 10:39 AM

TOP LEFT PHOTO BY K. BOYER PHOTOGRAPHY; ILLUSTRATIONS BY GETTY IMAGES

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

One of the biggest challenges of
preeclampsia during pregnancy is
detecting this nuanced disorder.
That's because preeclampsia can
sometimes show no obvious symptoms. A prenatal lab examination
can detect elevated urine protein
levels, an indication of the condition. Other symptoms can include
severe headaches, vision changes,
swelling, severe breathing issues
and seizures (eclampsia). Early
symptom detection is important to improving the odds of a
safe pregnancy.
With postpartum preeclampsia,
these symptoms are experienced
after delivery and are considered
just as dangerous to the mother as
they are during pregnancy.
"When I was discharged from
the hospital after my first child, I
was told to follow up with my doctor's office in six weeks. I had no
idea that I had to keep an eye out
for certain symptoms and go back
to the hospital if needed," Urban
says. "I thought my upper back and
shoulder pain, headaches and visual
disturbances were due to being
tired and nursing. I would tell all
expectant moms and moms in the
postpartum period to report any
strange symptoms to their physician and ask to be evaluated and, if
needed, go to the emergency room."
Women may also choose to
invest in a blood pressure cuff or
check blood pressure at a drugstore or grocery store.



Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC

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