Preeclampsia is a condition also known as toxemia. It starts after 20 weeks of pregnancy and causes high blood pressure, protein in the urine and problems with the kidneys and other organs.
Symptoms can include:
- Water retention and swelling
- Blurred vision
- Excessive fatigue
- Nausea or vomiting
- Upper right abdominal pain
- Infrequent urination
- Shortness of breath
- Easily bruised
Who is at risk?
All pregnant women are at risk for developing preeclampsia.
Women at higher risk include:
- First time mothers
- Gestational hypertension or preeclampsia history
- Genetic history
- Women carrying multiple babies
- Women younger than 20 and older than 40
- Women with prior high blood pressure or kidney disease
- Women who are obese or have a BMI of 30 or more
Preeclampsia affects both mother and baby. Left untreated, preeclampsia can cause maternal stroke, seizures or fetal death. If you have preeclampsia, close maternal and fetal surveillance is necessary to determine the best time to deliver your baby. Some women with preeclampsia need inpatient observation while others may be watched closely without being admitted to the hospital until time for delivery.
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