What is Pre-eclampsia?

Pre-eclampsia is a condition affecting some pregnant women whereby there is a problem with the placenta. This can be dangerous to both the mother and baby.

What causes it?

The disease has been known for over 150 years, according to the BBC, but it is still unclear what actually causes it. Considering this, it is difficult to predict who will be affected. However, there are a few known risk factors, such as:

  • Having suffered it during a previous pregnancy
  • Family history – if the woman’s mother or sister has had it, for example
  • It is a first pregnancy, or first by a new partner
  • The woman is over the age of 35
  • She is expecting more than one baby
  • She has a chronic illness, including high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney problems or migraine

Pre-eclampsia can deprive an unborn baby of oxygen

Some believe pre-eclampsia may be down to a problem in the placenta, leading to its underdevelopment, the NHS reports.

The placenta is what lines the womb, and in the case of pregnancy becomes the main organ which links the mother’s blood supply to the baby’s. In order for food, oxygen and waste to be exchanged between the two properly, the placenta needs a steady supply of blood. Pre-eclampsia occurs when the placenta does not get enough blood.

What are the symptoms?

Pre-eclampsia does not occur before 20 weeks into the pregnancy and is most prevalent in the third trimester.

Symptoms for the mother-to-be usually start off very mild and gradually progress. These include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Excess protein in the urine
  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Abdominal or shoulder pain
  • Blurred or altered vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Excessive weight gain due to fluid retention
  • Confusion

The poor blood supply affects the baby’s growth and causes it to develop slower than normal.

Pre-eclampsia can lead to a premature birth

Could there be complications?

Complications of pre-eclampsia include convulsions, which can occur before the typical high blood pressure or after the birth. There is a risk of developing kidney failure and HELLP syndrome – a combined liver and blood clotting disorder.

The condition also accounts for around 15 per cent of premature births and those babies are often born much smaller than usual.

How is it treated?

Pre-eclampsia can only be prevented by delivering the baby early. Otherwise treatment focuses on trying to lower blood pressure, very close monitoring and bed rest.

Only further tests can determine the severity of the condition and appropriate treatment. If the condition is severe, the sufferer is usually admitted to hospital.

If you think you may be suffering from pre-eclampsia, you should seek the advice of your doctor or midwife immediately.

Click here to read about ectopic pregnancies, stretch marks and what happens during a miscarriage.

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Victoria Beckham may finally get her Baby Spice girl

Three boys later, the pregnant Victorian Beckham may finally be welcoming a little girl into the brood.

Posh was “over the moon” when she found out she is carrying a baby girl during her 16-week scan, according to The Sun. Ordinarily, doctors are not able to identify the sex of a baby until the pregnancy is 20 weeks in, but some highly experienced professionals have been able to do it sooner.

She later returned for a 4D scan and was told her daughter was healthy and developing perfectly.

The former Spice Girl apparent wept with joy when doctors told her the happy news. She and England football star David Beckham have been desperate for a little girl to complete their family.

A close family friend told The Sun: “David and Victoria are over the moon. This will be their last child and to be told they are having a girl is the icing on the cake for the Beckham clan.”

Victoria, 36, and David, 35, are already parents to Brooklyn, 11, Romeo, 8, and 5-year-old Cruz. They announced in January that they were expecting their fourth child in the summer.

Posh’s sister, Louise, who daughter Quincy, her fourth child, last August, has apparently offered the star sack-loads of baby clothes already.

According to the Daily Mail, however, Victoria is reluctant to get her hopes up: “Everyone keeps asking me if I would like to have a little girl and I think, at some point, if I am lucky enough to have another baby, that would be great. If I am blessed enough,” she said last year.

More recently, she has been even more circumspect, telling the forthcoming issue of Vogue, the cover of which she will adorn: “Maybe one day another baby, but at this stage I think the chances of a girl are quite slim.”

[adsense]Yet her fervent desire for a mini Posh is undeniable. In one interview she said she could imagine “painting her nails, putting on make-up, and choosing clothes” with her.

If rumours are to be believed, we will soon be seeing a very well-dressed little girl among one of Britain’s most famous celebrity families.

The family source added: “Victoria is 36 and David is thinking about life after retirement. For them, with a sister for their boys – who are growing up fast – this is the perfect family. All their dreams have come true. They couldn’t have wished for more.”

Click here to read more about Victoria Beckham and her obsession with her body.

Other pregnant stars include Alicia Silverstone, Kate HudsonSelma BlairNatalie Portman and Kate Hudson.

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Pregnancy causes higher risk of depression than abortions according to new study

Women and girls considering an abortion can now breathe a sigh of relief, as recent research has discovered that there is more risk of new mothers suffering post-partum mental health problems, than the woman who chooses to terminate her pregnancy.

According to the Associated Press, the comprehensive study carried out by scientists in Denmark debunks previous studies of a similar nature that declared the opposite – ie; that women who had abortions were more likely to suffer mental health issues.

The rates of mental health treatment before and after a first abortion were compared and it was found that 15 out of 1,000 post-abortion women sought psychiatric treatment, a rate almost identical to those seeking treatment nine months prior to the abortion.  And although overall, first-time mothers had a lower rate of mental problems, the proportion of those seeking help post-partum was substantially greater with 7 out of 1,000 women seeking help with their mental health compared with 4 out of 1,000 before childbirth.

The previous studies that blamed pregnancy terminations as a trigger for mental ill-health were deemed unreliable as they were poorly designed and badly administered. Whereas, new mothers can experience sleep deprivation, hormonal issues and many other demands that might trigger mental disturbances. None of which are experienced by women who have had an abortion.

The conclusion of the studies echo previous research carried out in 2008 by the American Psychological Association, which found no evidence that terminating a pregnancy posed a threat to a woman’s mental health.

Having a baby is stressful and life-changing and this new evidence goes to show that only those people who are really ready and capable of raising a child, should be doing so.

The push me/pull me abortion debate will perhaps go on forever with anti-abortionists still insistent that a foetus – even whilst still an amorphous collection of cells with no personality – has the right to be brought into a harsh world and dropped into the hands of an unwilling mother. The mother/child relationship is a profound one and children growing up without such a bond often experience maternal deprivation issues; have difficulties forming relationships and more often than not find it difficult to trust other people.

Bringing an unwanted child into a world where their mother is ambivalent seems undesirable from every angle and the newly pregnant girl or woman should be informed that having the pregnancy terminated will not make her more susceptible to mental health issues. In this way, she can make an informed choice when deciding whether to keep the baby, without making a decision based on fear.

Please tell us your thoughts on the new study, or share your experiences of abortion or post-partum depression by leaving a comment.

Celebrities that have suffered post-natal depression include Angelina Jolie, Courtney Cox and the ethereal Gwyneth Paltrow who endured “painfully debilitating” PND after the birth of her second child, Moses. Read more about postpartum depression.

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Amy Adams shuns Hollywood pressure to bounce back to pre-pregnancy body

Celebrity moms are all too familiar with the pressure to rapidly shed the weight gained during their pregnancy months, but new mother Amy Adams refuses to submit herself to the drastic measures adopted by so many Hollywood stars.

The 36-year-old oscar nominee, who gave birth to daughter Aviana seven months ago, admits that being in good shape is important, but she doesn’t believe in going over the top with gruelling exercise and diet regimes in the name of her career, especially as she doesn’t believe that her “rockin’ bod” ever landed her her jobs in the first place.

In an interview with Parade, the Doubt actress said: “Being pregnant finally helped me understand what my true relationship was with my body – meaning that it wasn’t put on this earth to look good in a swimsuit.

“I was like, ’Look, I can carry a baby! I’m gaining weight right, everything is going well.’ And I’ve had that relationship ever since.

“I’ve been working out when I can… but losing weight is not my number one priority. It’s part of my job to return to some semblance of what I was before. But I don’t feel I’ve ever made my career on my rockin’ bod.”

With many celebrity moms shedding their baby weight in the first few weeks after giving birth, future moms would do well to follow in Amy’s more sensible footsteps, placing their priorities straight and being kinder to themselves by opting for a diet and exercise regime that doesn’t push their bodies to the limit.

As reported by Daily Mail, the refreshingly down-to-earth celeb said she opted for pole dancing lessons as a fun way to help her shed some of her baby weight.

“Some mum friends said it’s a good way to lose the baby weight. And I’ll do anything to get off that treadmill,” the charming actress said.

Amy Adams can be seen on the big screen now starring as Mark Wahlberg’s girlfriend in The Fighter.

Read here about reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian’s collapse, a result of the extreme measures she adopted to slip into a bikini for a fashion shoot.

Images: PR Photos and Wikimedia Commons

Celine Dion gives birth to twins

Celine Dion gave birth to twin boys, who were conceived through IVF, yesterday (October 23 2010). The singer was assisted in the births at St Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. She delivered the first baby at 11:11 am and the second at 11:12, TMZ reports.

A representative of the singer told the news provider that one boy was born weighing 5 pounds 4 ounces and the second 5 pounds 10 ounces. The rep added that the babies are “100% healthy but will be in an incubator for a few days.”

The 42-year-old was hospitalised as a precaution earlier this week to reduce the risk of giving birth to the twins prematurely.

St Mary’s Medical Center said the measure was to “prevent the early delivery of her babies which is the standard of care for any patient with twin pregnancy in this clinical setting.”

The Florida hospital also denied previous rumours that the Canadian-born star had scheduled a cesarean section for October 22 and that she was being looked after by her own nursing staff and security team.

“At no time did Ms. Dion or her husband make any special demands or requests of the hospital. She is not scheduled at any predetermined date for her delivery. She has not requested or selected any particular staff or accommodations not available to other patients,” said the hospital.

Read about IVF treatment, our earlier post on Celine Dion’s pregnancy and subsequent coverage about alleged complications.

Images: Wikimedia Commons

Pregnant Celine Dion hospitalized as a precaution

Canadian singer Celine Dion is in hospital in Florida as a precautionary measure to reduce the risk of her giving birth to twins prematurely, according to hospital staff.

Dion, 42, was taken into care as recommended by her doctors.  A statement released by  St Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach Florida said it was to “prevent the early delivery of her babies which is the standard of care for any patient with twin pregnancy in this clinical setting.”

The Charlemagne born, Canadian best-selling singer of all time, whose single My Heart Will Go On sold over a million copies in the UK alone, has a nine-year-old son with her husband and manager Rene Angelil. She is expecting twins, thought to be boys, in November thanks to the success of a sixth in-vitro fertilization attempt, according to media reports.

Some earlier media reports claimed Dion had scheduled a cesarean section delivery for October 22, but these rumours have been denied by the Florida hospital as have stories that she is being looked after by her own personal nursing staff.  There is apparently no truth to suggestions she has asked for rooms for her security team as well.

“At no time did Ms. Dion or her husband make any special demands or requests of the hospital. She is not scheduled at any predetermined date for her delivery. She has not requested or selected any particular staff or accommodations not available to other patients.”

Celine Dion is one of the world’s top-earning performers and is due to return to Las Vegas in March 2011 for a three-year concert residency at Caesar’s Palace hotel and casino.

So, merely four months after giving birth to twins she’ll be leaving them at home while she rakes in the dollars.  Good job she’s taking motherhood seriously.

Is Dion right to go through the trauma of IVF only to drop the kids for work after four months?  Let us know your opinion by leaving a comment.

Read about IVF treatment, our earlier post on Celine Dion’s pregnancy and subsequent coverage about alleged complications.

Images: PR Photos

Myleene Klass expecting her second child

Myleene Klass recently broke the news of her pregnancy on her twitter account. The 32-year-old model and presenter, who already has a three-year-old daughter with partner Graham Quinn, tweeted “Woo Hoo! I’m pregnant! So happy! x.’”

According to www.dailymail.co.uk, the former pop star recently said in an interview that her daughter Ava wanted to have sisters ,which prompted her to think about extending her family. She said “Ava said to me the other day, ‘I miss my sisters’. I said, ‘Oh really? How many sisters do you have – or do you want?’. She said she’d like two. I’d love her to have seven sisters. I don’t think I could love anybody as much as I love Ava, but I have two siblings and I don’t feel my mum loved any of us less.”

During her first pregnancy, Myleene Klass penned her experiences in a book called ‘My Bump and Me: From Morning Sickness to Motherhood – An Honest Diary of My Pregnancy’. As reported by www.entertainment.stv.tv, the star also talked about her volunteering stint at a London maternity ward in an interview, about which she says “I know this might sound strange coming from me, but when I think of all the kids out there who want to be TV presenters or popstars, I want them to realise that there’s another fantastic career here in the hospital. One that makes a real difference to people’s lives and is more worthwhile than almost anything else.”

Other celebrities who have recently revealed that they are pregnant include Christina Applegate, Penelope Cruz and Miranda Kerr.

Penelope Cruz is pregnant

Finally, the truth is out! For weeks images of Penelope Cruz sporting loose clothing and what appears to be a baby bump have led to speculations: is the newlywed actress pregnant? Indeed, she is. The Spanish actress’ PR agency has confirmed the news.

“Penelope Cruz is four-and-a-half months pregnant,” her agency told AFP. She is expecting her child with husband Javier Bardem.

Penelope, 36, met ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ star and fellow Spaniard Javier, 41, on the set of ‘Jamon, Jamon’ in the early 90s. The couple worked together again on ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’, the movie which earned Penelope her Oscar.

The couple wed in a quite and private ceremony in the Bahamas in July.

This will be Penelope’s, first child.

Penelope is currently working on the latest installment of ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ alongside Johnny Depp. According to her agent, she is almost done filming.

“At the moment she is on her way to London where the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean 4 is almost finished.”

Celebrities whose pregnancies we have reported on include Lily AllenAli LarterMiranda KerrCeline Dion and Kelly Preston.

Images: PR Photos, Wikimedia Commons

Lily Allen experiencing health scares during pregnancy

Lily Allen’s second time pregnancy after a miscarriage about two years back is far from easy. According to www.people.com, the Pop star explains her experience with the pregnancy as “I came off the pill and, weirdly, a week later it happened. But then it was really difficult, I had complications.”

The star explains that she went through quite a tough time during first few weeks of her pregnancy. She added that she had a week when she experienced heavy bleeding and thereafter had to undergo lots of scans which the singer says put her in grave fear. However, these health scares do not deter her from wishing for a family life.

When enquired about her plans of raising her kids and being a full time mother for a few years, Lily Allen confirmed the news and said that her kids would take the centre stage and would be brought up in a family oriented environment.

As per www.monstersandcritics.com, the singer strongly feels about her family plans so much so that she went on to reveal that she might not tell her children about her pop star days at all however, she did not rule out the possibility of getting back into the music industry some time later.

Celebrities whose pregnancies we have reported on include Ali LarterMiranda KerrCeline Dion and Kelly Preston.

Images: PR Photos

Rachel Dratch gives birth to a baby boy, names him Eli

Here comes another celebrity mom. ‘Saturday Night Live’ star Rachel Dratch has given birth to a baby boy, according to a report published in www.nydailynews.com. The baby boy has been named Eli. Rachel Dratch is 44 year old, and this is her first child.

Baby and the mother have been doing great and Rachel is a healthy and happy mother now. A few months ago, while speaking about her pregnancy, she said saying that everything about her pregnancy appears surprising to her. She said that her pregnancy itself was surprising.

The story of her pregnancy will be out in a new book that she is soon going to release.

Rachel Dratch said that she depended on her female friends for advice about pregnancy and her baby, says the report in www.people.com. Her pregnancy affected her friendship as well and it seems to have been strengthened over these nine months of pregnancy.

Fellow ‘Saturday Night Live’ friends and moms Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have been with her throughout and Rachel said that she relies on them for getting good advice for her problems.

Celebrities who have recently given birth include Jodie Sweetin and Catherine Bell.

Celebrities whose pregnancies we have reported on include Miranda KerrCeline Dion and Kelly Preston.

Images: PR Photos