Report Finds Baby Aspirin May Be An Answer to Preeclampsia Prevention

A recent report found a daily dose of baby aspirin could help prevent preeclampsia in pregnant women. With high blood pressure increasing for pregnant women over the last 40 years, increasing the chances for preeclampsia, this is good news. It’s most significant for black women, whose maternal mortality rates are three times that of white women.

According to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force, the risk of preeclampsia can reduce by 24% with prenatal aspirin. The criteria for those who might be in need of prenatal aspirin are African-American women, women who are pregnant with their first child, women over 35 years of age and women who diagnosed as obese by their doctors.

OB-GYN for the Boston Medical Center Dr. Jodi Abbot spoke to NPR about the benefits of baby aspirin during pregnancy. “What aspirin does is relax blood vessels, which lowers the blood pressure but also improves blood flow to the baby, the kidneys, and to the brain, lowering the chance that the woman would have any complications to her pregnancy that would affect either her or her baby.”

Abbott's co-director of the Prenatal Aspirin Project Dr. Nyia Noel agrees a small dose of aspirin is safe and says as a black woman and a black obstetrician-gynecologist in the service of women every day, this issue is important to her. “I’ve experienced what feels like one degree of separation between myself and women just like me that have died from preeclampsia,” she told NPR. "So I really feel that aspirin is not the only thing, but it is a step, and women should really feel empowered to speak with their providers about this.”

Dr. Abbott recommends women pregnant with multiples, those who have hypertension, diabetes, or who’ve previously had preeclampsia are higher risk and should talk to their doctors about taking low dose aspirin. 

The Realist Woman’s take:

While low dose aspirin is not the answer for all women, it is part of a solution to help prevent preeclampsia. The health of pregnant women is very much in jeopardy in this country with many clinics closing due to the limitations of Title X and inadequate healthcare. But something like this can save the lives of mothers and their babies. I’ll take good news involving women any day.