If you had HELLP, come in! — The Bump

If you had HELLP, come in!

I developed HELLP syndrome with my first pregnancy, and my husband and I are talking about having another. We've always wanted our kids pretty close together in age, but now I'm a little nervous about getting pregnant again. My son is 9 and a half months old, and we were thinking about TTC in the next few months - probably around springtime. For those of you who had HELLP, did you talk to a doctor before you started TTC? If so, did the doctor have any advice, precautions, etc.? Or...what was your experience with a pregnancy after HELLP? I know that every pregnancy is different, I'm just looking for some discussions and/or conversation!


Re: If you had HELLP, come in!

  • I didn't have HELLP ( or at least to my knowledge) but I did have severe pre-eclampsia that developed at 28 weeks and I delivered at 29 weeks. My OB said that if I ever decide to TTC again, I need to talk to Maternal Fetal Medicine (high risk OB) about the risks/plans/whether they think I should,etc. Maybe you should talk to one? It's not even on my mind right now so I haven't looked into it (I'm not even sure if I want another). How early was your baby? That can play a huge role in your chances of developing it again. My doctor said that since I developed pre-e so early, then chances are great that it will happen again...just who knows at what point in the pregnancy or how severe. Good luck!
    Hospitalized at 28 weeks due to severe pre-eclampsia. Reagan Michelle was born on 4/24 at 29 weeks, 1 day gestation 2 pounds, 11 ounces 15 inches long.

  • Our babies were born on the same day:) I delivered at 32weeks.
  • I agree with the PP. I had severe pre-e and not HELLP but I was told to talk with an MFM when we were thinking of trying again. I developed it at 26 weeks and delivered at 28w4d. For pre-e, I have been told, the earlier and more severe you get it the more likely it is to happen again. I don't know if that is true for HELLP. Have you looked at the message boards on the preeclampsia.org page? They cover pre-e and HELLP. 


    Good luck! 

  • image Gidget724:
    Our babies were born on the same day:) I delivered at 32weeks.

    Yay for Easter babies! :) Although, I would have much rather had a July baby like originially planned.

    I would definitely talk to MFM. It definitely won't hurt and honestly, your OB will probably have you go see them once you get pregnant again anyway...it's best to get your foot in the door and get their recommendations ahead of time

    Hospitalized at 28 weeks due to severe pre-eclampsia. Reagan Michelle was born on 4/24 at 29 weeks, 1 day gestation 2 pounds, 11 ounces 15 inches long.

  • I also had HELLP, I have pre-e from about 20 weeks until I delivered at 33 weeks, but it wasnt diagnosed until a few days before I delivered. We aren't exactly sure when I developed it but 20 weeks was when I started complaining of symptoms. I've been told different things by different doctors, some say with close monitoring I should be fine, some say it will probably be worse next time, but I had more complications than just HELLP. I think you should talk to MFM about it.
    Lilypie Premature Baby tickers
  • Hello! I had HELLP and severe Pre-E with DD (born at 26 weeks) and we decided in September that we were going to try to have another one. I met with my dr. right away to discuss the risks involved and what to expect and she had me start taking calcium, folic acid and low dose aspirin daily for 3 months before having my IUD removed and will continue to take them all (plus prenatals and omega 3) the enitre time I am pregnant.

    In January I met with the Materanl-Fetal Medicine Specialist I saw after I was admitted to the hospital with DD to further discuss the risks and her plan for me if I get pregnant. I will have to start Lovenox injections daily as soon as I get a BFP and will be have an ultrasound every couple of weeks to watch my placenta function.

    So now I wait. The pills suck (they total 12 a day) and the needles are going to SUPER suck (had them for 6 weeks after DD was born. horrible.) but I've accepted that it is what it is. We had a pretty easy NICU experience even though DD was 1lbs 3oz and was there for 100 days and I have all the confidence in the world in my doctors. If they thought for a second that a second pregnancy would not be managable, I wouldn't even attempt it.

    I still to this day think that if my origional doctor had listened to my concerns or even examined me that my Pre-E would have been caught much sooner and my body would have been able to hang on a little longer.

    So my advice? Definitely talk to your doctor before you TTC! Chances are you will be considered high risk and you just don't want to mess around with something like HELLP (or the risk of developing it again) unmonitored!

    You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have
    Lilypie Premature Baby tickersimage
  • No direct experience from me, but I do have a success story to share from another NICU mom we are friends with.

    Her first was born at 25 w - IUGR, 1lb, 1oz - due to HELLP and pre-E.  She got pregnant while her son was still in the NICU (whoops!) and immediately saw an MFM.  She did have more frequent monitoring during her 2nd pregnancy, but made it until her scheduled c-section at 37 weeks with no reoccurance and delivered a 7+ pound baby.  Her kids are less than one year apart.

    Good luck - I would defnintely consult with a MFM before you start trying.

    IVF #3 brought us our little explorer.

  • I also had HELLP syndrome when I was pregnant with my first son last spring, and delivered him at 36 weeks. Because I had an unusual case (I did not present any physical symptoms until my blood pressure started to rise at my 35 week appointment), it went undiagnosed for several weeks and my son was born with IUGR.

    My husband and I are older parents (I was 36 and my husband 40 when our first son was born) and knew that we didn't want to wait long between pregnancies if possible. I talked to my OB at my 6 week check-up about the risks of another pregnancy, how long we should wait, what I could do, what my care would look like, etc. He recommended that I start taking a low-dose baby aspirin daily along with my prenatals. I got pregnant a little sooner than we had planned (I'm currently 27 weeks pg with our second son). My OB has had me on Labetalol since my first prenatal appt with DS #2, as well as continuing with the baby aspirin. He initially told me that I would be on partial bedrest for the last 4-6 weeks of this pregnancy, but told me recently that I might not need any bedrest at all since things are going so well. So far, I have not needed any extra appts, but will be going every 2 weeks starting with my 28 week appt, and 2x/week starting with my 32 week appt. Also, I will be having extra growth ultrasounds and regular blood tests throughout my third tri to catch a reoccurence of HELLP sooner (if it comes back).

    I totally understand your nervousness in TTC again after having HELLP - I was the same way, and, as I get closer to my third tri (when I am more likely to develop it again), I get more anxious about it. But you are correct - every pregnancy is different. I was pretty sick throughout my pregnancy with DS #1, but this time around has been MUCH better, despite having slighly higher bp this time. Feel free to PM me if you want to talk more. GL! 

  • I just got out of the hospital in fact.  Had an emergency C-section on April 29th for HELLP.  My son and I are doing good, but are still recovering.  My doctor told me to wait 3 to 5 years before even thinking of having another child and even then to consult him because we needed a strict plan to prevent a relapse.  I had 3 blood transfusions and ended up in cardiac ICU.  So I don't know if it depends on severity or not, but that's what he told me.
  • image lucy460:

    I'm sorry you were so sick, but it's great that you and your son are doing well now. Be patient with yourself. It took me a long time to even begin to get over the trauma of my son's HELLP birth.

    Thank you so much for saying that.  It was very traumatic and I get frustrated because the people around me are already wanting me to get over it.  I nearly died, both of us did and I feel a million emotions about it and am still getting new flashes of things I didn't remember before because of the Magnesium.  It's a lot to take in.  Anyway, long story short, thanks. :-)  It means a lot to know I'm not the only one and it's ok for me to be still very freaked out.  

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