Top News America
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Michelle Duggar gave birth prematurely due to preecclampsia - dangerously high blood pressure Full Video
Tiny Josie Brooklyn Duggar was born months earlier than she should have been because her mother, Michelle Duggar, had a not-so-rare pregnancy complication called preecclampsia.
Better known as high blood pressure, or hypertension, it's a condition that occurs in 5% to 10% of pregnancies, said Dr. John Gianopoulos, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University. There's no way an expectant mother can prevent the condition, he says.
Preeclampsia is much more common in a first pregnancy than in subsequent ones, Gianopoulos said. But Josie is the 19th baby for Michelle Duggar and her husband, Jim Bob.
"Her case is very unusual but not unheard of," Gianopoulos says. "Women who have a severe case can have swelling in their liver, which causes pain similar to gallbladder pain."
Doctors initially thought the mom, reality show star, was suffering from a gallstone. But then she was taken to the emergency room at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and a Caesaraen section was performed Thursday.
At present, the only treatment for preeclampsia is to deliver the baby immediately, Gianopoulos said.
"Once the baby and the placenta are delivered, the disease tends to dissipate," he said. "If the baby is not delivered right away, there would be tremendous risk to the mother and the baby. Preeclampsia is one of the leading causes of maternal death worldwide, along with infections and hemorrhages."
Maternal and fetal deaths from preeclampsia aren't as common in the U.S. because most women have their babies in the hospital, where they can get appropriate treatment, Gianopoulos said.
Although there is no way to prevent preeclampsia, some evidence shows that taking very low doses of aspirin may reduce the risk of occurrence, the doctor said.
Early symptoms include swelling, headache, feeling jittery, pain right under the rib cage and decreased urine output, said Dr. Millicent Comrie, vice chairwoman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Long Island College Hospital, and founder of the hospital's Women's Health Center.
But as with many pregnancy-related complications, preeclampsia can be linked to a mom's age, with younger moms and older moms at highest risk.
"It is seen more commonly in the extreme," Gianopoulus said. "It's seen more often in women younger than 20 and older than 35."
Once a woman experiences preeclampsia in pregnancy, it's likely to occur again, Comrie said, so Michelle Duggar is likely to have the same experience next time around.
"If she gets pregnant again and again and again, then she's a candidate who would be more likely to turn up with preeclampsia in the next pregnancy," Comrie said.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/2009/12/14/2009-12-14_michelle_duggar_gave_birth_prematurely_due_to_preecclampsia__dangerous_high_bloo.html#ixzz0Zkga0ISG