On this episode of Food Freedom and Fertility we are discussing Preeclampsia with Laney Poye.
Laney Poye serves as the Director of Communications and Engagement for the Preeclampsia Foundation, overseeing the Foundation’s robust digital and traditional communications channels. She ensures that the three pillars of its mission (Community, Research, and Health Care Improvements) remain at the heart of the Foundation’s work. Laney enjoys overseeing the development of scientifically accurate and accessible educational content in English and in Spanish for www.preeclampsia.org. Laney has a Master’s degree in International Affairs with a specialization in women’s health in low resource settings from Florida State University. She also serves as a representative voice for women who have experienced ectopic pregnancies, infertility, and pregnancy & infant loss.
Laney shares her experience with preeclampsia someone who works with women who are experiencing Preeclampsia and also someone who has experienced it first-hand. Laney gives us an in depth look at her story which also includes her IVF journey. Laney is happy to share this experience as the rate of preeclampsia is every 1 in 12 pregnancy will experience it. She also feels it makes her a better advocate.
Our hosts and Laney explain the difference between Gestational hypertension and Preeclampsia. Gestational hyper tension is any time in pregnancy where you manifest high blood pressure. Preeclampsia is different because it is the hyper tension but there is an organ dysfunction with it. A big risk is that the blood pressure gets so high it causes seizures or a stroke for the mother. There are symptoms you can look out for which include severe headache that doesn’t go away when you take Tylenol, severe swelling hands and face that will not go away, vision changes and upper gastric change. Preeclampsia is the leading cause of maternal mortality, however one study stated over 60% of the preeclampsia deaths are avoidable if they receive the proper prenatal care. That is why it is important to know the symptoms and do not hesitate to go to the doctor if you experience any.
There are higher risk groups such as women with a younger maternal age (under 20) and advanced maternal age of 35 & up, a family history of high blood pressure, PCOS, fertility issues, and black moms. Laney reminds listeners that you deserve the right care that is focused around you.
If you know that you are at risk for Preeclampsia you can lower your risk in preconception period. One way is starting a low dose of Aspirin therapy 12-16 weeks before conception. That can help delay the onset or even prevent it. Be sure to check with your doctor about this helpful tool. If you have more than 1 risk factor you should consult with a high-risk specialist to help guide you through your pregnancy. It is also a good practice to begin doing anything that helps your body become healthier and more efficient. Also try to manage any issues before conception to give you a head start. Laney also helps debunk a few myths regarding Preeclampsia.
The biggest take away from this episode is to listen to your intuition and always get a 2nd opinion if you feel like your care provider is not addressing your concerns. Know the signs and symptoms advocate for yourself and remember that even if your pregnancy journey doesn’t go the way you thought it was going to go… you can still have a happy outcome. Hold on to that hope.