Preeclampsia

Understanding the Signs and Symptoms of Preeclampsia

Pregnancy & Postpartum

Pregnancy comes with many symptoms and side effects—morning sickness, exhaustion, cravings, mood swings, thicker hair and even sensitivity to smells. While these are generally normal, others may be cause for concern and even a sign of a pregnancy-related condition such as preeclampsia.

Preeclampsia can happen to any pregnant woman during the second half of her pregnancy or up to six weeks after delivery. It's a serious disease related to high blood pressure and is the leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death. By conservative estimates, this disorder is responsible for 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths globally each year.

Preeclampsia can develop gradually or have a sudden onset, flaring up in a matter of hours, even though the signs and symptoms may have gone undetected for weeks or months.

Early recognition and reporting of symptoms is the key to early detection and management of preeclampsia. Having symptoms doesn't necessarily mean you have preeclampsia, but the symptoms are cause for concern and require immediate medical evaluation. Contact your health care provider right away if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Swelling of the hands and face, especially around the eyes (swelling of the feet is more common in late pregnancy and probably not a sign of preeclampsia)
  • Weight gain of more than five pounds in a week
  • Headache that won't go away, even after taking medication such as acetaminophen
  • Changes in vision like seeing spots or flashing lights; partial or total loss of eyesight
  • Nausea or throwing up, especially suddenly, after mid pregnancy (not the morning sickness that many women experience in early pregnancy)
  • Upper right belly pain, sometimes mistaken for indigestion or the flu
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Gasping or panting
  • A feeling of "I just don't feel right"

It's also important to know that some women with preeclampsia have NO symptoms. The only way your health care provider can diagnose it is by monitoring your blood pressure and protein in your urine, so keep all your prenatal appointments.

ADVERTISEMENT

Vaccination against Covid-19 supports a healthy pregnancy by protecting both mother and child – an immunologist explains the maternal immune response

Research during the pandemic has shown that mothers infected with Covid-19 during pregnancy are twice as likely to require ICU care for their newborns, or to lose their children shortly after birth

Your Health

Hypertension Forced Me to Have My Baby Preterm. There Were No Warning Signs.

Being 42 years old, I knew I was at a higher risk for pregnancy complications, but this came out of nowhere and turned my world upside down

Created With Support

Racism a Strong Factor in Black Women’s High Rate of Premature Births, Study Finds

Black women are about 1.6 times as likely as whites to give birth more than three weeks before the due date

Pregnancy & Postpartum

by eMediHealth

☆☆☆☆☆ By eMediHealth ☆☆☆☆☆