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What is preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia is a high blood pressure condition that occurs during pregnancy. If a woman has both high blood pressure, combined with protein in her urine, after she has reached 20 weeks then she is diagnosed with preeclampsia. This condition is more common during the last few weeks of pregnancy and the only way to treat preeclampsia is to deliver your baby.

Since the only way to truly resolve preeclampsia is by giving birth, the earlier it shows up the greater the risk to both mum and child. The majority of these cases are mild and are treated quickly. However, the more serious and early it surfaces, the more problems there may be. These include reduced blood flow to the body’s organs and to the uterus. Issues involving your baby are the possibilities of slow growth, placental abruption, and too little ambiotic fluid. Plus, severe preeclampsia may result in premature birth if it happens too early in the pregnancy.

Occasionally preeclampsia can lead to actual eclampsia, a condition the causes seizures. These seizures pose a serious danger to both mother and baby.

Symptoms associated with preeclampsia include swelling in the face, hands, feet or ankles, rapid weight gain caused by the swelling, vision changes, headaches, nausea or vomiting. The symptoms will vary from mother to mother, and you may experience some or none at all.
 
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