Preeclampsia; A Free Birther’s Perspective
When someone says they had to be induced due to preeclampsia a few questions come to mind.
How severe were her symptoms?
How did her diet look?
What did her stress level look like?
Did she try to control her symptoms herself?
Did she even look into the topic or did she just blindly follow her providers suggestions?
I can typically guess the answer to each of those questions when a woman claims she had to be induced due to preeclampsia. Of course, there are special cases, but typically, the answers are all the same.
One of the biggest topics that women have questions about in the natural minded community is Preeclampsia, when it comes to pregnancy/birth.
What exactly is preeclampsia?
What are the signs?
Is it a necessary reason to induce labor?
Is it something that can be controlled?
Do I need to seek assistance or can I handle it on my own?
They are all great questions that have important answers!
What I am going to share with you is not going to be in favor of what your medically minded provider tells you.
They will tell you that it is not preventable, you are unable to control it yourself, and it is necessary to induce labor because it is the only way to cure it.
All of which is invalid.
Their goal is to maximize the medical facilities revenue while still yielding a healthy baby. They follow unnecessary routine procedures. This isn’t a one size fits all complication though. One that can typically be managed holistically.
But lets get real – There is no revenue to gain in advising a patient to change their diet and stay active. Why do that when you can bring in revenue using pharmaceuticals and induce labor, leading to complications such as an emergency cesarean (the jackpot in revenue for a facility)? They are taught in school how to support the pharmaceutical industry, not how to treat you naturally in a healthy manor.
If you are anything like me, your goal is to have a natural birth with little-no assistance unless it is absolutely necessary. (Which we know most intervention that does happen, is proven unnecessary and done purely for revenue and to make the delivering docs life easier.)
The medically minded approach isn’t something I would sign up for, personally. I would do my research and be empowered to treat myself holistically and stick to my natural birth plan – thanks. We’ll skip the bull crap.
So, What is Preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia, previously called “Toxemia”, is a pregnancy complication categorized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine, usually after 20 weeks gestation. It effects 3-5% of pregnancies. It is the cause of 15% of premature births. It also is NOT always cured by delivering baby. Some women experience the symptoms even there after delivery.
Signs of Preeclampsia
✔High blood pressure
✔Proteins in urine
✔Water retention (swelling, typically in the feet and hands)
✔Rapid weight gain
✔Nausea and Vomiting
I will be upfront and state that preeclampsia isn’t something to take lightly or brush off. It can lead to life long complications and death if it is uncontrolled. It can create organ malfunction of the brain, liver, kidneys, and restrict blood flow to the placenta. It can lead to seizures if the mothers blood pressure gets too high. It can cause intrauterine growth restrictions (IUGR), neurological complications, and death in either mom or baby.
Sure, these are the possible complications. This does not mean we should just give up and follow a doctors suggestion to immediately induce, especially when the doctor only makes money when you rely on their assistance. Of course they are going to tell you that you need to rely on them!
Contrary to what your provider may feed you, there are ways to attempt prevention of preeclampsia, there are also ways to manage it once signs turn up. There are ways to get it under control aside from inducing labor. Even if signs seem abnormal, it can be managed!
Many in the unassisted community have experienced spikes in blood pressure with blurry vision but still make it to 41+ weeks because they manage it with diet, exercise, and self care.
How to lower your chances of experiencing Preeclampsia:
#1) First and foremost is Diet.
There is actually a diet specifically for its prevention. It is called the Brewers Diet. This diet is high in protein, calories, and sodium. (Good salts, not your average table salt).
It is crucial to follow the Brewer Diet’s recommendations for salt, calories, and protein. If you try to lower the amounts of salt or calories than is recommended by the Brewer Diet, and focus primarily on the protein, it is likely that the Brewer Diet will not be as effective. You can not pick and choose.
Sticking to a more so, whole foods, plant based diet along side the Brewers suggestion, may be in your best interest. Avoid supplements which contain nettle, dandelion, alfalfa, bilberry, or celery because they have diuretic properties.
The Brewers Diet is not one size fits all, so research more on the topic if you feel so inclined!
More on this diet can be found in the brewers link below.
#2) Maintain a healthy weight.
A woman can have a beautiful pregnancy, despite being overweight, but it can be one of the risk factors to developing pre-eclampsia. While you should not attempt to lose weight during pregnancy, attempting to maintain a healthy weight gain is optimal.
Stay active! Pregnant does not mean disabled. Although you shouldn’t start running 5Ks when you haven’t ran a day in your life, you should maintain physical activity. Whatever your body can handle without leaving you completely exhausted. Keep in mind you are growing a human, you don’t wanna work out too hard! Pace yourself. And eat and hydrate to re-compensate the calories and fluids you lost during your activities.
#4 Keep anxiety and stress at bay
High blood pressure is one of the largest signs of preE. How can we avoid this? One way is by minimizing anxiety and stress. Keep that blood pressure down. Whatever you have to do, to ensure low stress, DO IT. Some use meditation, prayer, THC/CBD or other avenues. Some may use pharmaceuticals but I would highly suggest steering clear of the pharmaceuticals unless they are truly needed. You are not deficient in pharmaceuticals.
#5) Prevent dehydration & fatigue
You need to be hydrated and nourished. You should never go hours on end with out eating, especially during pregnancy. You should be eating at least 5 times a day;
– Eating a complete breakfast
– Mid-morning snack
– Afternoon snack
– Before bed/Dinner
If you feel hunger, you should eat. Your body will communicate with you its needs. Eat to satisfy hunger.
Those who suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum are more at risk for this.
Because they typically aren’t able to keep food or liquids down. This is where preeclampsia can come into play. You should be eating a well balanced diet, consuming large amounts of healthy fluids, and eating frequently. Those with HG usually aren’t able to do this. Many who suffer from HG find relief in THC/CBD products, but many women also will not consider this an option.
Stay hydrated and eat well.
Self Prenatal Care
You are able to complete your own prenatal care. There isn’t much that a OB/Midwife can do, that you can not physically do yourself. You can test your own proteins in your urine, you can test your own blood pressure, and you can chart your own weight, fundal height, and so forth. This is what a woman does who leads an unassisted pregnancy.
To prevent/manage Preeclampsia you can test your urine and BP at home. You can stop by your local pharmacy and test your BP there using one of the complimentary blood pressure machines, if you do not have one at home. The protein test strips can be bought online! There are so many charts are online to track everything else. BE EMPOWERED. YOU CAN.
The Emergency Brewers Diet
There is an Emergency Brewers Diet for a women who is already struggling with PreE. This is a recipe to help manage the preeclampsia and keep it under control until delivery day or cure symptoms all together!
This diet can be done in many ways and there are different approaches that each person may swear by.
One recipe is to consume 52 eggs and 6 quarts of milk in 72 hours. Also consuming 4-5 salt shots. The eggs should be soft cooked or runny yolk. This is your protein! As for the milk, you might like to find Raw a2 milk or goats milk. The salt shots should be made with Himalayan salt.
Another Emergency protocol I have read is to consume salt, milk, and egg every hour for 3 days. There are many approaches but essentially you need to maintain your protein, salt, and calories. Not the time to be cutting calories.
There are also other ways to treat/manage preeclampsia!
People in the unassisted community will swear by these other techniques listed below:
- Increase Magnesium intake (Magnesium is best absorbed topically)
- Juice from 1/2 lemon or lime, 2 TBSP cream of tartar taken once daily (to reduce BP)
- Put feet in cold water (Safely lowers BP)
- 2 full droppers of passion flower tincture (Helps with swelling/Water retention)
- Turmeric (helps with inflammation)
- Cayenne Tincture (5-10 drops in a liquid, twice daily, AM/PM)
Preeclampsia is dangerous if it is let go and ignored.
But, in the same breath, you can treat this and possibly prevent it from even happening! There will be cases where a women does XYZ, follows the diet to a T, and tracks religiously, but still suffers from PreE. The biggest thing is working with it, meeting your bodies needs, and managing the complication until delivery.
By all means, if you experience extreme symptoms, baby is doing poorly, or your “mommy senses” are screaming something is wrong, please seek medical help. They are there for emergencies. Emergencies such as unmanageable preeclampsia would be reason for me, as an unassisted birther, to go to a hospital if I have exhausted all other options with no avail.
If you only have a few symptoms that are manageable by using the suggestions mentioned earlier, I would avoid all medical suggestion for induction or medication.
Why not try the natural way first?
Preeclampsia can be dangerous. But it can also be managed by the mother herself! It will be up to you to self educate and care for yourself. Your doctor didn’t learn any of this in their schooling. Solely because there is no revenue made when a person uses a holistic approach. The person is healthy – no need for assistance.
It should be common sense to treat an ailment or complication holistically before trying more invasive and harmful measures. Your doctor would likely beg to differ.
Do your own research and make your own informed choice. Feel empowered to do so!
Feel free to check out our blog page for more info on other birth related topics!
*Please keep in mind that we are not licensed medical professionals and this is not medical advice, simply alternatives to consider*