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Pre-eclampsia: What You Can Do to Prevent It

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According to WebMD, pre-eclampsia (PE) is a condition that pregnant women can develop. It’s marked by high blood pressure in women who haven’t had high blood pressure before. Pre-eclamptic women will have a high level of protein in their urine and often also have swelling in the feet, legs, and hands. This condition usually appears late in pregnancy, though it can happen earlier. If undiagnosed, pre-eclampsia can lead to eclampsia, a serious condition that can put you and your baby at risk, and in rare cases, cause death. Women with pre-eclampsia who have seizures are considered to have eclampsia.

What Causes It?

Although various factors may trigger pre-eclampsia, recent studies suggest that diet may be a significant contributing element. The body does not randomly develop symptoms. It is more of a cause and effect reaction to ongoing biological activities, of which a proper diet (or lack thereof) plays a critical role.

What Can You Do?

The Dr. Brewer Pregnancy Diet is a diet that was developed in the 1950’s and 1960’s by an obstetrician, Dr. Tom Brewer, to help women have healthier pregnancies and healthier babies. In the process of his medical education and research, he discovered that the cause of pre-eclampsia was an abnormal blood volume, caused by malnutrition, or food deficiency.

The diet consists of 14 food groups, summarized as starting with 4 basic components: 2600 calories, 80-120 grams of protein, salt to taste, and unrestricted weight gain. (Avoid protein drinks during pregnancy. Always try to get your protein from food.) Consult your doctor, midwife, or nutritionist immediately if you start to fall behind on your diet for any reason. Inability to follow the diet is a medical emergency requiring prompt attention.

A Healthy Baby & Mother

Sometimes, a pre-eclamptic woman will be induced to minimize the risk of high blood pressure during delivery. Obviously, inductions carry their own risks, which tend to make labor longer and more challenging for both baby and mother. Following the Brewer Diet Plan helps expectant mothers do the right things during pregnancy while lessening the reasons for induction. The results speak for themselves: happy, healthy mothers and precious, healthy babies.

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