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Preeclampsia

What is Preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia (pronounced "pre-ee-clamp-see-ah") is a problem that occurs in some women during pregnancy. Preeclampsia is a condition where the mother has high blood pressure and the baby may not receive enough blood flow. If you think you may have preeclampsia, visit a doctor immediately.

Preeclampsia is also called toxemia.

Symptoms of Preeclampsia

The most common symptoms of preeclampsia are:

  • High blood pressure
  • Excessive swelling in hands, face and other parts of your body
  • Abdominal pain
  • Large amounts of protein in your urine
  • Small amounts of urine
  • Blood in your urine
  • Severe headaches
  • Vomiting blood
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Double vision
  • Blurred vision

**Swelling is a normal part of pregnancy, but when swelling is sudden and occurs in face and hands, it is abnormal. Swelling of the feet occurs in most pregnancies.

What causes Preeclampsia?

The exact cause of preeclampsia is unknown.

How will the baby be affected?

Preeclampsia can prevent your baby from getting enough blood. If the baby doesn't get enough blood, the baby may have low birth weight and other problems.

Good News about Preeclampsia

Most women with preeclampsia still deliver healthy babies. Preeclampsia is usually detected early in women who get regular prenatal care, and most problems can be prevented.

Can Preeclampsia be Treated?

Your doctor may place you on bedrest. Bedrest will help lower your blood pressure.

Can Preeclampsia be Prevented?

Since the cause is unknown, there is no precise way to prevent preeclampsia. However, is it important to get prenatal care because it will be easier to treat preeclampsia if you develop it.

Who is at Risk for Developing Preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia is most common in a woman's first pregnancy and in women whose mothers or sisters had preeclampsia.

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