Pre-eclampsia or preeclampsia, also called Toxemia, is a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, often the kidneys. Preeclampsia usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in a woman whose blood pressure has been normal. Even a slight rise in blood pressure may be a sign of preeclampsia.
- High blood pressure
- Protein in urine
- Rapid weight gain caused by a significant increase in bodily fluid
- Abdominal pain
- Severe headaches
- Changes in reflexes
- Reduced urine or no urine output
- Excessive vomiting or nausea
- Vision changes
How does preeclampsia affect my baby?
Preeclampsia can prevent the placenta from getting enough blood. If the placenta doesn't get enough blood, the baby gets less oxygen and food. This can result in low birth weight. Most women still cant deliver a healthy baby if preeclampsia is detected early and treated with regular prenatal care.
Treatment depends on how close you are to your due date. If you are close to your due date and you baby is developed enough, your healthcare provider will probably want to deliver your baby as soon as possible.
If you have mild preeclampsia and you baby has not reached full development, your doctor will probably recommend you to do the following:
- Rest, lying on your left side to take the weight of the baby off your major blood vessels.
- Increase prenatal checkups
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
- Change your diet to include more protein.