A blog post I read about a month ago had this link, which said that “a stable or rising hemoglobin/hematocrit when the blood volume was beginning to contract” was the first sign of preeclampsia. Because I understood that maternal blood volume increased throughout pregnancy, I asked the site owner about this, and she responded,
The article was talking about the earliest signs of pre-eclampsia and the clinical sypmtoms of a contracted . When a woman is NOT experiencing the beginnings of pre-eclampsia, her blood volume increases with extra fluid, but it takes several weeks for the hemoglobin/hematocrit to catch up to the amount of fluid in the blood volume. Therefore, when running a blood test for hemoglobin/hematocrit, they appear to drop. If that doesn’t happen, that’s a sign that the blood volume is not expanding it’s fluid content. This is considered to be a warning sign that all is not well.
Interesting. It goes on to talk about maternal diet and fluid intake, to help the body fight preeclampsia. I’ve not heard that before, and wondered what everybody thought of it. I don’t know what this midwife is basing her diagnosis on, although she’s written midwifery textbooks, so I assume that she goes into that in greater detail in those. I assume that obstetricians do not generally believe this, but I wonder if they even have ever heard of it.
I can easily see that OBs would dismiss it out of hand, but I wonder if there have ever been studies undertaken that would disprove this. It is easy to say, “Nope! Won’t work!” And much harder to show that it does or does not work. Just like there have been studies that supposedly show that the Brewer Diet does not work, when you look at the actual studies done, they don’t take pregnant women on the Standard American Diet and put them up against a similar group of pregnant women on the Brewer Diet and see how they fare. Instead, what I’ve seen is that they’ll take one element of the Brewer diet (for instance, high protein, or vitamin C, or whatever part they choose to look at that day), and give one group of women the S.A.D. and the other group of women the S.A.D. with extra protein, vitamin C, or whatever, and then with much fanfare say, “See! It doesn’t work! Extra protein doesn’t keep pregnant women from getting preeclampsia.” Well, maybe protein powder doesn’t work, but natural protein (in the form of whole foods, and in conjunction with the other beneficial nutrients found in whole foods such as beans and broccoli) does work. But they don’t check that. They check artificial foods. And I daresay that adding extra protein on top of a nutrient-deficient diet (of french fries and hot dogs) probably wouldn’t keep anyone from getting any disease or ailment; but perhaps extra protein on top of a nutritious diet might. But we don’t know that, because they don’t check it. (If anyone knows of a study which does actually look at the foods consumed, and not just the types of food [proteins or carbs or whatever, as if all protein were identical] or quantity of food [calories consumed or pounds gained], please let me know. I’m anxious to see it!]
Filed under: pregnancy, studies & stuff Tagged: | baby, birth, brewer diet, diet, eclampsia, midwife, midwifery, midwives, obstetrician, obstetricians, obstetrics, preeclampsia, pregnancy, pregnant, protein, toxemia