New Study: Fiber Reduces the Risk for Pre-eclampsia

Pre-eclampsia is a gestational condition which might lead to some dangerous complications. New study discovered that fiber in your pregnancy diet might reduce the risks.


5-8% of all pregnant women in the USA get pre-eclampsia (PET). It mostly affects young pregnant women in their first pregnancy and women over 35 who were pregnant in the past. Key symptoms are high blood pressure and significantly high amounts of protein in the urine. Pre-eclampsia is one of the most common and dangerous gestational conditions. What causes it still remains uncertain, but unfortunately it may lead to some dangerous life-threatening complications for both the mother and the baby.

Do you have pre-eclampsia?

Pre-eclampsia usually erupts after the 32nd week, but it can appear as early as the 20th. You might have pre-eclampsia if you are in those time periods and experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • High blood pressure
  • Sudden gain of weight
  • Exceptionally intense and continuous head aches
  • Blurred vision
  • Unusual epigastric pain (upper-right belly)

Note: until recently, edemas were considered a symptom as well, especially in the face and hands.

Pre-eclampsia can be treated successfully if diagnosed at an early stage. Contact your physician if you suspect you might have it.

Reducing the Risks: More Fiber in your Pregnancy Diet

A relatively new study shows that a fiber-rich pregnancy diet might reduce the risk of getting pre-eclampsia. The study was published in 2009 and was conducted by the Washington University. The research for the study took place throughout the years 1996-2002. It monitored 2,420 pregnant women, who were asked to fill a detailed questionnaire about their pregnancy nutrition. By the end of their pregnancy, 46 of these women were diagnosed with pre-eclampsia.

The study found that the average daily intake of fiber in these women’s pregnancy diet was 17 grams. A thorough analysis of all the data revealed that for the women who had more than 21 grams of fiber every day, the risk for getting pre-eclampsia was reduced by 67%, compared to the women who had 12 grams of fiber or less.

Fiber for a Healthy Diet while Pregnant

The study showed that having enough fiber in your pregnancy diet is extremely important for a healthy, complications-free pregnancy. The recommended daily intake of fiber for most pregnant women is 25-30 grams. Not only will it reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia, it will also prevent constipation, keep you sated and help your baby develop properly.

Here are some great sources of fiber for pregnant women. Make sure you have enough of it, and don’t forget to consult your doctor and dietitian before making any drastic changes in your pregnancy diet.

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