Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Preeclampsia is a condition in pregnant women marked by high blood pressure and high levels of protein in the urine and can be accompanied by swollen feet, legs and hands. It usually occurs in the second half of pregnancy. The exact cause is unknown.

It is most commonly seen in first time pregnancies, teen moms and women over 40. Other risk factors include:

  • History of high blood pressure, 
  • History of preeclampsia in other pregnancies, 
  • Mom or sister having preeclampsia, 
  • Multiple pregnancy (twins, etc)  
  • History of diabetes, heart disease, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. 

Other symptoms of preeclampsia include:

  • Rapid weight gain caused by increase in body fluid
  • Abdominal pain
  • Severe headaches
  • Change in reflexes
  • Reduced or no urine output
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive nausea and vomiting
Seek immediate medical attention if you have the following:
  • Sudden/New swelling in your face and eyes
  • Blood pressure greater than 140/90
  • Sudden weight gain over 1-2 days
  • Abdominal pain especially in the upper right part of the abdomen
  • Sever headaches
  • Decrease in urine output
  • Blurry vision, floaters or flashing lights
When caught early, preeclampsia can be manageable with blood pressure medication, but if it goes undetected it can be serious for you and your baby. In extreme cases it can become eclampsia, which causes you to have seizures. There can be other effects as well. 

If you are close to term when symptoms occur, it is likely they will induce labor. If you are not close to term and it is not yet severe they will likely try to control your blood pressure with medication and bed rest. If severe, they may deliver you even if you are early. 

Have you had any experience with preeclampsia? 

1 comment:

  1. I began to develop preeclampsia with my second pregnancy. I was very blessed to catch it early and to be almost 39 weeks pregnant before it developed, so thankfully I was only induced and had no further complications. What clued me in that something was wrong with my blood pressure was a bloody nose. This never happens to me and is not a common sign listed, but that is where knowing your body helps.


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