I had severe PE (diagnosed at 31 weeks) and HELLP last year. Gave birth to a 2.5lb baby girl at 32 weeks via emergency c-section. Our baby was born small but healthy, and came home in May after 5 weeks in the NICU. I got off blood pressure meds 6 weeks post-partum, and had no liver/kidney damage. Our daughter is turning 1 in April, and my 35th birthday is approaching this summer - so if we're going to TTC for #2, we need to get on it. I got a referral from our family doctor back to the MFM who treated me last April for a pre-preggo consultation. I learned a lot!
The MFM was very positive about having another baby given my previous history with PE/HELLP. She told us that as soon as I get preggo again, I should head immediately to our family doctor who will set up a scan to date the pregnancy, and set up the early blood tests for down's, neural tube defects etc. In BC (where I live) you get a quad screen done, at 10 weeks and about 16 weeks. The MFM told us that from those tests, they can better guesstimate what my chances of getting PE are. 30% is the standard guess, but these tests can also help them predict a bit better...from lower to 30% to as high as 70% chance. They will also do another scan at roughly 18-20 weeks to check the blood flow in the uterus. They can sometimes tell if PE may show up by the blood flow in the uterus and placenta. Once they do all of this, they can better predict what the risks are, and mitigate accordingly with extra monitoring, BP meds etc. It was a very reassuring consultation. Also told us about taking baby aspirin everyday as soon as I am preggo again, and even how calcium before pregnancy can sometimes help (some studies have shown women who don't get much calcium may have an inc risk of PE and I HATE milk).
So, the short version is, we're going to go for it probably starting late summer.
Also, for anyone residing in BC with previous PE - check out the EMMA clinic at BC Women's Hospital - it's the place to be if you have PE!
Are you considering having another child after preeclampsia? Trying again after preeclampsia can be an emotional challenge. You can find support with others who share your concerns here.
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