Preeclampsia is a condition that typically starts after the 20th week of pregnancy and is related to increased blood pressure and protein in the mother's urine (as a result of kidney problems). Preeclampsia affects the placenta, and it can affect the mother's kidney, liver, and brain. When preeclampsia causes seizures, the condition is known as eclampsia--the second leading cause of maternal death in the U.S. Preeclampsia is also a leading cause of fetal complications, which include low birth weight, premature birth, and stillbirth.
There is no proven way to prevent preeclampsia. Most women who develop signs of preeclampsia, however, are closely monitored to lessen or avoid related problems. The way to "cure" preeclampsia is to deliver the baby.
That pretty much sums it up right there. But for some more in depth info....
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Preeclampsia?In addition to swelling, protein in the urine, and high blood pressure, preeclampsia symptoms can include:
- Rapid weight gain caused by a significant increase in bodily fluid
- Abdominal pain
- Severe headaches
- Change in reflexes
- Reduced urine or no urine output
- Excessive vomiting and nausea
- Sudden and new swelling in your face, hands, and eyes (some feet and ankle swelling is normal during pregnancy.)
- Blood pressure greater than 140/90.
- Sudden weight gain over 1 or 2 days
- Abdominal pain, especially in the upper right side
- Blurry vision, flashing lights, and floaters
How Can Preeclampsia Affect My Baby and Me?In moms-to-be, preeclampsia can cause rare but serious complications that include:
- Water in the lungs
- Heart failure
- Reversible blindness
- Bleeding from the liver
- Bleeding after you've given birth
What Is the Treatment for Preeclampsia and Eclampsia?The only cure for preeclampsia and eclampsia is to deliver your baby. Your doctor will talk with you about when to deliver based on how far along your baby is, how well your baby is doing in your womb, and the severity of your preeclampsia.
If your baby has developed enough, usually by 37 weeks or later, your doctor may want to induce labor or perform a cesarean section. This will keep preeclampsia from getting worse.
If your baby is not close to term, you and your doctor may be able to treat preeclampsia until your baby has developed enough to be safely delivered. The closer the birth is to your due date, the better for your baby.
If you have mild preeclampsia, your doctor may prescribe:
- Bed rest either at home or in the hospital; you'll be asked to rest mostly on your left side.
- Careful observation with a fetal heart rate monitor and frequent ultrasounds
- Medicines to lower your blood pressure
- Blood and urine tests
- Medicine to help prevent seizures, lower your blood pressure, and prevent other problems
- Steroid injections to help your baby's lungs develop more quickly
- Magnesium can be injected into the veins to prevent eclampsia-related seizures
- Hydralazine or another antihypertensive drug to manage severe blood pressure elevations
- Monitoring fluid intake
After delivery, signs and symptoms of preeclampsia should go away within 1 to 6 weeks.
Thank you WebMD for the information! And hopefully that answers some of your questions! I see the dr on Tuesday so check back then for some updates.... or hey, since im on bed rest, maybe ill be posting more blogs... we'll see.