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If you’ve been keeping up the with Kardashians, you know that Kim Kardashian gave birth to a little girl last week, a month before her due date. Though some initially criticized the so-called publicity stunt, there is now speculation that Kim might have been dealing with a serious medical condition called preeclampsia, which could explain her early delivery.
Preeclampsia causes a rapid rise in blood pressure, which can lead to seizure, stroke, organ failure, or even death. The symptoms sometimes never manifest, leading some women to be admitted to the hospital feeling perfectly healthy.
A key symptom, though, which seems to be apparent in photographs of Kim, is significant swelling. While some swelling during pregnancy is normal, severe swelling, most frequently noted in the face or ankles, could be an indicator of this serious condition. If your swelling seems like too much, alert your doctor.
A related telling symptom that might be mistaken for normal pregnancy changes is excessive weight gain. If you gain more than two pounds in a week, you might have preeclampsia. In case of a rapid weight gain, avoid dieting, drink plenty of water, and consult your doctor or midwife.
The signature symptom of preeclampsia is not easily mistaken for normal: high blood pressure. Know your normal blood pressure value for comparison. Consider investing in a blood pressure monitor if you are experiencing any other symptoms or have seen a rise in your normal blood pressure at a doctor’s appointment. If you have high blood pressure, seek out a specialist immediately.
The treatment for preeclampsia depends on how far along you are in your pregnancy. If you’re diagnosed towards the end of your pregnancy, the only solution is delivery. This might have been why Kim gave birth so early. If you are diagnosed with preeclampsia early in your pregnancy, your doctor might prescribe bed rest and bi-weekly check-ups to keep a close eye on the condition. After delivery, your blood pressure will return to normal.