Preeclampsia is a serious pregnancy related condition that is characterized by high blood pressure. This can cause a number of complications for both the mother and the baby, if not diagnosed on time and treated right away.
Preeclampsia is mostly known to show up in the mid second trimester, but may also begin early or later in pregnancy. With proper treatment, most expecting mothers with preeclampsia are able have a normal pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby without experiencing complications.
Symptoms of preeclampsia
Most of the times, there are no signs that can indicate you have preeclampsia. This can develop all of a sudden. One of the most important sign is the increase in blood pressure. Know about hypertension risks in pregnancy. However, a high blood pressure may not always mean you have preeclampsia. Here are other signs that can be accompanied by high blood pressure in pregnancy.
- Presence of protein in the urine. Sometimes this may not be there, but you may still be diagnosed with preeclampsia
- Sudden swelling of the face, hands and feet
- Changes in normal vision. You may see blurry or double images.
- Pain in the upper belly
- Persistent, painful headaches that don’t seem to go away even after using over the counter medicine.
- Increased heartbeat
- Difficulty in breathing
- Producing less amount of urine or having difficulty in urinating
- Severe nausea
- Sudden increase in weight, which is not due to food habits
Most of these symptoms are common to pregnancy and may not indicate the presence of preeclampsia. This can be ruled out by your doctor on your scheduled visits. That is why it is important not to miss your regular prenatal visits. Your doctor checks whether the blood pressure is normal and looks for protein presence in your urine sample, every time you visit. Uncontrolled preeclampsia can lead to fatal conditions for both you and the baby.
If this condition is caught on early in pregnancy, it is easier to treat. Preeclampsia usually goes away soon after delivery. If you are close to your estimated due date or have completed 37 weeks, your doctor may consider inducing you to start labor. This is because preeclampsia increases risk of developing seizures, clots, placental abruption and other dangerous complications during pregnancy. Sometimes, you may have to deliver prematurely or undergo cesarean, depending on the severity of your condition. Other treatments that are considered for treating preeclampsia include-
- The most important consideration when treating this condition is lowering your blood pressure. If it is extremely high, your doctor may prescribe antihypertensive for decreasing the BP. Some of these medications can have side effects as well and you may discuss about it with your health care provider.
- In some cases, all you need is bed rest and some peace to help lower the blood pressure. This may not be effective in all cases, but may help those women who feel stressed out.
- In case if your condition is advanced, you may need to be admitted into the hospital for treatment and continuous monitoring of your baby and your health.
- If you have severe preeclampsia and there is still time for your due date, you may be prescribed certain medications in order to prolong your pregnancy. These may also help in improving the condition of your baby’s lungs, so as to be prepared for a preterm delivery.