How will preeclampsia affect my health after my child is born?

Swollen feet, achy backs, pregnancy-related high blood pressure (known as gestational hypertension) and preeclampsia (hypertension with other organs affected) are just a few of the maladies that can accompany pregnancy. They’re also conditions that mothers-to-be expect to be rid of once their babies are born. But, according to Tanya Dutta, MD, Noninvasive Cardiologist at Westchester Medical Center, the flagship of WMCHealth, we now know that the effects of pregnancy-related high blood pressure can have lifelong health implications. “We originally thought that once pregnancy was over, there were no lingering effects,” Dr. Dutta says, “but in the past few years, studies show women with preeclampsia have over twice the risk of developing heart disease later in life.”

If you’ve been diagnosed with preeclampsia, Dr. Dutta advises to think of your diagnosis the same way you would a family history and follow these tips:

  • Follow-up with your physician after the baby is born
  • Make sure your blood pressure is being regularly screened
  • Bring up your diagnosis every year with your doctor when reviewing your health history
  • Maintain a heart-healthy diet

Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital

westchestermedicalcenter.com/pediatric-cardiology