• Appointment With Specialist
  • Treatment
  • Scan
  • All Specialties
  • Location

Conditions

The warning signs of pre-eclampsia & how you can try to prevent it

23 Jul 2019 8:05 AM
image of .Mrs Pradnya Pisal

.Mrs Pradnya Pisal

Pre-eclampsia tends to occur in the third trimester of pregnancy, particularly around and after 34 weeks, and can also occur close to delivery and after delivery. It is a complication of pregnancy where the mother develops high blood pressure, swelling and protein in the urine.

 

Symptoms

Some mothers will have no symptoms at all except for swelling of the lower legs, which can be a symptom of normal pregnancy. The high blood pressure can cause headaches, vision disturbances such as flashing lights, vomiting, upper abdominal pain. Some women will experience a reduction in the amount of urine they are passing and the swelling may not be limited just to the lower legs. Their urine will show significant amount of protein. In severe cases, mothers can become very unwell and have a seizure.

 

Risk factors

First-time pregnant mothers, older women and very young women, women who have pre-existing hypertension and diabetes and women who have medical conditions such as lupus are most at risk. Women who are overweight and who have a family history of hypertension or have developed pre-eclampsia in previous pregnancies are also at risk. Women with twins can develop pre-eclampsia earlier in pregnancy and some women with a pregnancy abnormality called molar pregnancy will also develop this in the second trimester.

 

Effects of pre-eclampsia

Babies of mothers with pre-eclampsia can be affected by growth restriction and may need earlier delivery or preterm delivery. When the condition develops in early pregnancy the baby is monitored with regular scans to check this. When delivery occurs early, the baby will have to be admitted to neonatal intensive care. There is a higher chance of these mothers needing induction of labour and increased chance of caesarean delivery.

 

Prevention

Eating healthily, avoiding being overweight and controlling weight gain in pregnancy and after delivery are very important when it comes to avoiding pre-eclampsia. Women who are at high risk are prescribed low dose aspirin.

If women are experiencing symptoms of pre-eclampsia, they should urgently contact their midwife, see their GP or attend the maternity pregnancy assessment unit that is open usually during day time hours. Out of hours, they should contact the number for obstetric triage or the labour ward.


Sign up at the top of this page to receive our next article to your inbox.

 

Are you a Gynaecologist? Would you like more information about joining Doctify? Please click here.

 

If anything mentioned here has affected you and you want to know more, you can book an appointment by clicking below.

Book an appointment with Mrs Pradnya Pisal

Share this article

Related articles on Doctify

How can cancer impact your mental health?

image of Dr Gary Bell

Dr Gary Bell

6 Aug 2019 8:27 AM

How to spot sciatica and what to expect with treatment

image of .Mr Richard Gullen

.Mr Richard Gullen

12 Jul 2019 8:53 AM

Do you have Gilmore’s Groin or a Sports Hernia?

image of .Mr Rishi Chana

.Mr Rishi Chana

9 Jul 2019 9:14 AM

Top tips for avoiding back pain at work

image of Guy Gold and Associates

Guy Gold and Associates

2 Jul 2019 9:25 AM