- Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella
- In her new Netflix documentary “Homecoming,” Beyoncé said she had toxemia during her pregnancy with twins Rumi and Sir.
- In the September 2018 edition of Vogue, Beyoncé also detailed her experience with toxemia.
- The singer said the condition caused her to go on bed rest and have an emergency C-section.
- Toxemia is another name for the medical condition preeclampsia, a condition defined by high blood pressure and protein in the urine, according to the Preeclampsia Foundation.
- According to the foundation, the condition affects between five and eight percent of pregnancies.
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Beyoncé’s new Netflix documentary “Homecoming” is packed with action from her iconic 2018 Coachella performance, but the documentary also offers a look into the songstress’s personal life and the complications she faced during her pregnancy with twins Rumi and Sir.
In the film, Beyoncé said she had to cope with toxemia, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure, weight gain, and protein in the urine. “My body went through more than I knew it could. I was 218 pounds the day I gave birth. I had an extremely difficult pregnancy,” she said in the film.
Beyoncé also detailed her complicated pregnancy in a personal essay in the September 2018 issue of Vogue.
In the essay, the mom of three wrote she was “swollen from toxemia and had been on bed rest for over a month” during the time. Ultimately, the condition caused her to have an emergency C-section to deliver the twins. Following the birth, she and the twins spent weeks in the NICU.
“I was in survival mode and did not grasp it all until months later,” Beyoncé wrote.
Toxemia is another name for preeclampsia
According to The Preeclampsia Foundation, preeclampsia is defined by high blood pressure and protein in your urine. It usually occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy, and can also happen up to six weeks postpartum.
The condition is fairly rare, affecting about five to eight percent of pregnancies, according to Healthline. This may not seem alarming but preeclampsia is known to cause bleeding problems, damage the liver and cause the “breaking away of the placenta from the uterine wall.”
Preeclampsia can be deadly if left untreated
According to the Preeclampsia Foundation, the condition is the leading cause of maternal and infant illnesses and deaths. It is estimated to be responsible for 76,000 maternal and 500,000 baby deaths annually.
The foundation notes that the mother’s death usually occur when preeclampsia escalates to either eclampsia, a condition that leads to seizures, or HELLP Syndrome (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count,) which affects the how the blood clots and how the liver functions.
When it comes to the baby, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development notes that preeclampsia can make it difficult for oxygen and nutrients to reach a fetus in the womb. This can cause stillbirths, preterm births. or infant deaths.
Doctors have yet to pinpoint one cause of preeclampsia
According to Healthline, potential causes of preeclampsia include, “genetic factors, diet, blood vessel problems, and autoimmune disorders.”
Additionally, the site notes that there are certain shared traits among people with higher rates of preeclampsia. Some of these include “being over the age of 35” and “being pregnant with multiple fetuses” – both of which were the case for Beyoncé, who was 35 years old at the time of her pregnancy.
There are numerous symptoms of preeclampsia
OB-GYNs are trained to look for symptoms of preeclampsia, but it never hurts to monitor yourself.
According to Healthline, symptoms include a persistent headache, abnormal swelling in your hands and face, sudden weight gain, and changes in your vision. In more serious cases, you need to watch for seizures and fluid in your lungs.
If your doctor finds you are positive for preeclampsia, they can immediately perform tests to verify your baby is healthy.
There is no cure for preeclampsia, but there are some things you can do to reduce further complications
According to Healthline, you will likely be advised to go on bed rest, consume less salt, drink more water, and make sure you are going to the doctor frequently. For more serious cases, you may be admitted to the hospital to be closely monitored so you don’t endanger yourself or your baby.