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How Pregnancy Can Affect Your Heart

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How Pregnancy Can Affect Your Heart

Understanding Preeclampsia

While most people know that the body goes through a multitude of physical and hormonal changes throughout pregnancy, many don't realize that pregnancy can negatively impact your heart health. The health experts at Antelope Valley Medical Center are here to shed some light on the connection between pregnancy and your cardiovascular health.

What is Preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication that causes a new onset of high blood pressure either during pregnancy or after delivery. Often, this is also accompanied by proteinuria, which is the presence of abnormally high amounts of protein in their urine. For most women affected by preeclampsia, this heart condition manifests during the last trimester or shortly after giving birth.

Risk factors

While the cause of preeclampsia needs more research, there are a number of factors that leave women more likely to develop this heart health issue. These risk factors include:

  • Being a first-time mother.
  • Previously having preeclampsia.
  • Having a mother or sister who has had preeclampsia.
  • Carrying multiple babies at once.
  • Being pregnant younger than 20 years old.
  • Being pregnant over 40 years old.
  • Having high blood pressure prior to pregnancy.
  • Having kidney disease.
  • Having a BMI of over 30.

Signs & Symptoms

Common signs and symptoms of preeclampsia include:

  • Excess protein in your urine (proteinuria).
  • Headaches and migraines.
  • Upper abdominal pain.
  • Changes in vision.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Urinating less.
  • Liver issues.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Fewer platelets.

If you suspect that you may be exhibiting signs of preeclampsia, be sure to reach out to your obstetrician.

Specialty Care in Lancaster, CA

As the only full-service, acute-care hospital in Antelope Valley, Antelope Valley Medical Center is proud to deliver exceptional medical care to the community we serve. Our knowledgeable staff is dedicated to providing our patients with heartfelt, compassionate care and medical excellence.

For questions or to make an appointment at the Antelope Valley Medical Center OB/GYN Clinic please call 661-726-6180.