May is National Preeclampsia Awareness Month.

Preeclampsia is a disorder which develops after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. It is characterized by the onset of high blood pressure and often a significant amount of protein in the urine.

Many women worry about potentially developing this condition as their pregnancy progresses. A recent study has shown that using artificial reproductive technology (ART) or a donor egg to become pregnant may increase the risk of developing preeclampsia. Could these findings also include women who have achieved pregnancy using an adopted embryo?

First, it is important to note that embryo adoption comes with all the risks associated with pregnancy, which includes preeclampsia. Second, preeclampsia is treatable and is most often detected early enough to prevent full blown eclampsia from developing.

In reality, preeclampsia is one of those mystifying pregnancy disorders which seems to have no rhyme or reason. The actual cause of the disorder is still unknown. Several things have been shown to increase the risk for preeclampsia: family history, a multiple pregnancy, chronic hypertension, underlying kidney problems, obesity, age, and even first time pregnancy.

So what can you do to decrease your potential risk for developing preeclampsia? According to the American Pregnancy Association, there are many simple things you can do:

  • Add little or no salt to your meals
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day
  • Don’t eat an excess amount of fried or junk foods
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Exercise regularly
  • Relax and elevate your feet several times a day
  • Don’t drink alcohol and caffeine

And as always, it is extremely important to listen to your doctor and follow their instructions. Following your doctor’s orders is essential in achieving a safe and healthy pregnancy for you and for baby.

For more information on embryo adoption, visit