A Warri-based gynecologist, Dr Agnes Onotojah, has advised pregnant women to check their blood pressure regularly in order to avoid Pre-eclampsia.
Onotojah gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Friday.
Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterised by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, most often the liver and the kidney.
It usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women whose blood pressure had been normal.
According to her, it can also lead to serious complications for both mother and child if left untreated.
Rarely, she said pre-eclampsia could develop after delivery of a baby, a condition known as postpartum pre-eclampsia.
“Pre-eclampsia sometimes develops without any symptoms.
“High blood pressure may develop slowly, or it may have a sudden onset, she said.
She advised pregnant women to monitor their blood pressure as an important part of pre-natal care, adding that the first sign of pre-eclampsia is commonly associated with a rise in blood pressure.
According to her, blood pressure that exceeds 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm) or greater documented on two occasions, at least four hours apart is abnormal.
She said that the exact cause of pre-eclampsia involves several factors and experts believe it begins in the placenta.
“The placenta is an organ that nourishes the foetus throughout pregnancy.
“Early in pregnancy, new blood vessels develop and evolve to efficiently send blood to the placenta,” she said.
She advised pregnant women to regularly attend your pre-natal visits so that their care providers can monitor their blood pressure.
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