What is pre-eclampsia?
Your doctor will take your blood pressure at every check-up, keeping an eye out for this dangerous condition.
High blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine are the key indicators that you might have developed pre-eclampsia. One in 20 women develops this dangerous condition.
At worst it can reduce the supply of blood to the placenta, which can deprive your baby of essential oxygen and nutrients, which in turn can cause placental abruption, low amniotic fluid levels, and poor foetal growth.
Pre-eclampsia usually occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy and symptoms include:
- sudden weight gain
- changes in vision.
- However, some women with rapidly advancing pre-eclampsia have few or very mild symptoms, which is why your blood pressure will be carefully monitored.
Treatment depends on the severity of your pre-eclampsia. The only “cure” for pre-eclampsia is the delivery of your baby. If it is too early to deliver your baby safely, your doctor will probably prescribe:
plenty of fluids
medication to lower blood pressure It’s more likely if you...
- are carrying multiple babies
- have a family history of pre-eclampsia
- are carrying a lot of extra weight
- already have chronic hypertension or certain blood clotting disorders