Consult with the maternal-fetal medicine team.
Preeclampsia is a disorder that affects 5% to 8% of pregnancies in the United States. Signs and symptoms of preeclampsia usually occur after the 20th week of pregnancy up until your due date. The condition also can occur after delivery up until six weeks postpartum.
The diagnosis of preeclampsia is made by your obstetric provider. It can occur in a spectrum, from just an elevation in blood pressure, up to maternal seizures called eclampsia. Preeclampsia is diagnosed by a finding of an elevation of blood pressure after the 20th week of pregnancy with or without protein present in the urine.
While a majority of patients with preeclampsia will have healthy babies and fully recover, a few will experience severe complications. Because the condition can progress rapidly, early recognition of preeclampsia signs and symptoms could save your life and the life of your baby.
Symptoms of preeclampsia can include:
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your health care provider.
If you have any of the risk factors below, talk with your health care provider about prevention strategies for preeclampsia.
Preexisting conditions such as:
Other risk factors can include:
Primary treatment for preeclampsia is careful observation of the mother, along with symptom management. If symptoms persist and get more severe, or do not respond to medication or intervention, you and your health care provider may decide to deliver the baby early.
Norton Women’s Care offers a complete range of services with an emphasis on caring for the whole woman — mind, body and spirit. That includes heart care, bone care, cancer care and wellness care, in addition to gynecological care at adolescence, pregnancy, motherhood, midlife and beyond.
We apply our multidisciplinary approach to women’s health with an understanding that your body is different, your symptoms can be different and your care should be different. Our obstetricians and gynecologists work closely with the Norton Heart & Vascular Institute Women’s Heart Program to provide specialized female cardiology care.
Reviewed by Lyndsey D. Neese, M.D., MMM, FACOG, an OB/GYN with Norton Women’s Care and medical director of quality for women’s services at Norton Healthcare.
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