Kim Kardashian Delivered Early Due To Preeclampsia

As Kim Kardashian and Kanye West struggle to decide on a K-beginning name for their new daughter, reports have emerged that the delivery was complicated by a medical condition called preeclampsia.

The baby girl was born on June 15th at 37 weeks, about 3 weeks early. Kanye cancelled an engagement 15 minutes before it was due to start to be at Kim’s side for the delivery.

The Daily News is reporting that Kim had been suffering from preeclampsia, a condition with chronic high blood pressure during pregnancy.

Although it is reported that the infant is doing fine, she is being kept in an incubator to help her regulate her temperature.

More details about Kim’s delivery will be given in this week’s People magazine.

What is Preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia is a medical condition which occurs in approximately 5-8%  of pregnancies. It consists of high blood pressure and protein in the urine in a woman, typically after the 20th week of pregnancy.

It is unknown what causes preeclampsia.

Although many women may be asymptomatic during the early stages of preeclampsia, when symptoms do occur they include:

preeclampsia* Swelling of the hands and face/eyes (edema) – Note: swelling of the legs and feet is common in pregnancy.
* Weight gain of more than 2 lbs/week or sudden weigh gain over 1-2 days
* Headaches that are dull or throbbing and will not go away
* Abdominal pain, mostly felt on the right side, underneath the ribs. Pain may also be felt in the right shoulder, and can be confused with heartburn, gallbladder pain (see above), a stomach virus, or the baby kicking.
* Decreased urine amount or frequency
* Nausea and vomiting (a worrisome sign)
* Vision changes – temporary loss of vision, sensations of flashing lights, auras, light sensitivity, spots, and blurry vision

If left untreated preeclampsia can lead to eclampsia, which consists of:

Severe agitation or

Left untreated, eclamptic seizures can result in coma, brain damage, and possible maternal or infant death.

Treatment of preeclampsia and/or eclampsia is always a careful balancing game between treating the mother and not harming the infant.

Delivery of the infant is the only real cure for the disease, however if symptoms are relatively mild, doctors will try to lower mom’s blood pressure and give medications to prevent seizures, as well as give intravenous steroids to encourage lung maturity in the infant. The further along you can get an infant to maturity, the less likely there will be complications.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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