Preeclampsia 101: What You Need to Know During and After Pregnancy

Preeclampsia is a serious yet poorly understood pregnancy condition. Most women associate pregnancy with food cravings, swollen feet, and mood swings, but the truth is that high blood pressure poses a much more serious risk.

What Is Preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia is a complication of pregnancy defined by high blood pressure and potential damage to the liver and kidneys. Any woman can develop preeclampsia, even health women who had normal blood pressure levels before pregnancy.

Since untreated preeclampsia can lead to severe and even fatal complications for you and your baby alike, make sure you understand the signs of this condition and how to seek appropriate treatment. 

What Are the Symptoms of Preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia is tricky because it can actually develop with minimal symptoms. The very best way to catch preeclampsia is through consistent blood pressure monitoring. If your blood pressure exceeds 140/90 mm HG on two occasions, preeclampsia could be forming.

There are other symptoms that you or your doctor may notice:

  • Excess protein in your urine
  • Severe headaches
  • Changes in vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Decreased urine output
  • Sudden weight gain and swelling

What Should I Do If I Have Preeclampsia?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, contact your OBGYN immediately for further evaluation. You’re especially likely to develop preeclampsia if you have a family history of the condition, already have documented hypertension, are over 40, or are carrying multiple babies.

Your OBGYN may recommend blood pressure medications called antihypertensives to lower your blood pressure. If you’re near the end of your pregnancy, inducing labor may even be recommended to keep your baby safe.

For any questions or concerns regarding your pregnancy, call (813) 571-2777 to make an appointment with Women’s Health and Wellness and get the compassionate, attentive care you need.