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Preeclampsia - Signs, Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Treatment

Signs of Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is a serious condition that can affect women anytime between 20 weeks of pregnancy and giving birth. It causes high blood pressure and can also impact organs like the kidneys and liver.

Symptoms of Preeclampsia

Symptoms include:

  • High blood pressure

  • Changes in vision (blurriness, flashing lights, spots)

  • Headache that won’t go away

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Dizziness

  • Abdominal pain

  • Sudden weight gain (2-5 pounds in a week)

  • Swelling

  • Trouble breathing

It is important to watch for the symptoms of preeclampsia, but, because many of these are typical during pregnancy, it is essential that you keep all your prenatal appointments. Your provider will take your blood pressure and test your urine for proteins at each visit, which can be used to detect and confirm preeclampsia.

Risk Factors for Preeclampsia

There is a greater risk if you have had preeclampsia before or are pregnant with multiples. High blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, obesity, family history, or being older than 35 are additional risk factors. If you fall into any of these categories, talk with your provider. They may suggest more frequent prenatal check ups or daily, at-home monitoring of blood pressure.

Treatment for Preeclampsia

If you are diagnosed with preeclampsia, your medical provider may recommend bed rest or an early delivery of your baby, which will resolve the issue. If your condition is very serious, hospitalization may be recommended.

At Tennessee Family Doulas, it is our joy to walk with you through all the unknowns and concerns associated with pregnancy, childbirth, and your early days at home. Our doulas are prepared to help, educate, and encourage you!


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