Preeclampsia is a condition that may occur during pregnancy and during the postpartum period that affects the blood pressure. Women who have preeclampsia will develop high blood pressure and may have some signs of her orgnas (such as kidney and liver) may not be working normally.
Preclampsia is a serious health problem for pregnant women everywhere around the world. It affects 2-8% of pregnancies worldwide. In the US it is the cause of 15% of premature births.
Premature births is a birth that happens before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
Most women with preeclampsia have healthy babies but if it is not treated, it can cause severe health problems for you and your baby.
Preeclampsia typically happens after 20 weeks of pregnancy or within 48 hours of the postpartum period though it can develop up to 6 weeks after birth.
One of the best ways to detect preeclampsia is to go to all of your prenatal care checkups, even if your feeling fine.
Preeclampsia may sometimes develop without any signs. This means you may have it and not know it. During your prenatal care checkups, your care providers will measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein. In the case of preeclampsia, there is usually a presence of protein in the urine.
Potential signs and symptoms include
- Changes in vision such as flashing lights, blurriness, seeing spots, or light sensitivity
- Headaches that won’t go away
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Pain in the upper right belly area or in the shoulder
- Sudden weight gain (2-5 pounds in a week)
- Swelling in the legs, hands, or face
- Trouble breathing
Many of these signs and symptoms are common discomforts and complaints of pregnancy but it is still important to talk with your care provider about having even one of these signs or symptoms to be evaluated.
Without treatment, preeclampsia can cause serious health problems for you and your baby.
If you are at risk, your care provider will talk to you about your options and the ongoing care you will receive.