Preeclampsia is a rapidly progressive condition characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine. Typically, preeclampsia occurs after 20 weeks gestation and affects both the mother and the unborn baby. Preeclampsia can also occur up to six weeks postpartum, after delivery.
If you experience any of the following signs and symptoms contact your during your pregnancy or within six weeks of delivery, contact your physician right away.
- High blood pressure
- Protein in urine
- Sudden swelling of the hands and face, especially around the eyes
- Weight gain of more than five pounds in a week
- Headache that won’t go away, even after taking pain medications such as acetaminophen
- Visual changes such as seeing spots or flashing lights
- Nausea or throwing up, especially suddenly, after mid pregnancy
- Upper right abdominal pain, sometimes mistaken for indigestion, heartburn or the flu
- Difficulty breathing, gasping, or panting
Proper prenatal care is essential to diagnose and manage preeclampsia. Getting weighed, checking your blood pressure and testing your urine for protein, each important for detecting preeclampsia, should be done at each prenatal visit. A good prenatal diet full of vitamins, minerals and the basic food groups are important for any pregnancy, as is reducing consumption of processed foods, refined sugars and caffeine.
For more information make an appointment with one of the providers at Total Women’s Healthcare or visit http://www.preeclampsia.org