Published May 17, 2007
A daily aspirin during pregnancy can reduce the risk for a dangerous, and sometimes deadly condition for mother and baby.
A study published in The Lancet found that a daily low-dose aspirin is linked to a 10 percent reduction in the risk of developing pre-eclampsia, according to a report in the Daily Mail.
Pre-eclampsia is a condition that elevates blood pressure and protein in the urine after the 20th week of pregnancy.
The cause of this condition is unknown, but it affects approximately 8 percent of pregnancies, according to the National Institute of Health.
Doctors say that while the risk reduction offered by a daily aspirin may only be "moderate," it is signficant because the only treatment is to deliver the baby early by emergency Cesarean.
Mike Rich, chief executive of Action on Pre-eclampsia, told the Daily Mail that a consensus was building that women at higher risk for this condition, such as high blood pressure or being older, should consider taking a low-dose of aspirin.
"Some doctors suggest taking it before pregnancy while others recommend using it during the first trimester until shortly before the baby is born," he said. "Women should not self-medicate, because there may be risks, for example if they are asthmatic or have stomach problems, and they should discuss it with a doctor."