About Preeclampsia

I lost my baby because I developed preeclampsia at week 40 of my pregnancy. I did not even know it until I started having labour pains. My blood pressure had been normal all through my pregnancy. Here is some information on preeclampsia from the Mayo Clinic website.

Preeclampsia is defined as high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy in a woman who previously had normal blood pressure. Even a slight increase in blood pressure may be a sign of preeclampsia. Left untreated, preeclampsia can lead to serious — even fatal — complications for both you and your baby.

Preeclampsia can develop gradually but often starts abruptly, after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Preeclampsia may range from mild to severe. If your blood pressure was normal before your pregnancy, signs and symptoms of preeclampsia may include:

• High blood pressure (hypertension) — 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or greater — documented on two occasions, at least six hours but no more than seven days apart
• Excess protein in your urine (proteinuria)
• Severe headaches
• Changes in vision, including temporary loss of vision, blurred vision or light sensitivity
• Upper abdominal pain, usually under your ribs on the right side
• Nausea or vomiting
• Dizziness
• Decreased urine output
• Sudden weight gain, typically more than 2 pounds (0.9 kilogram) a week
Swelling (edema), particularly in your face and hands, often accompanies preeclampsia. Swelling isn’t considered a reliable sign of preeclampsia, however, because it also occurs in many normal pregnancies.

When to see a doctor
Contact your doctor immediately or go to an emergency room if you have severe headaches, blurred vision or severe pain in your abdomen.

For more information, please visit: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/preeclampsia/DS00583

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