Preeclampsia Awareness Month

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preclampsiaMay is national Preeclampsia Awareness Month, and so we here at New Britain OB/GYN felt it was important to provide you all with this list of preeclampsia facts. Some of these are pretty well known; others may come as a shock to some of you.

  1. Preeclampsia can be a serious and even life-threatening condition for both mother and baby.
  2. High blood pressure can be one of the major symptoms of preeclampsia .
  3. The presence of protein in the urine is another indicator of possible preeclampsia.
  4. Women with preeclampsia are at a greater risk for health problems in the future.
  5. Preeclampsia effects one in every twelve (12) pregnancies.
  6. Preeclampsia and other hypertensive pregnancy disorders are the
  7. Preeclampsia can cause strokes, seizures, organ failure and premature birth.
  8. Women are at a higher risk for preeclampsia developing during the second half of their pregnancy.
  9. Having said that, preeclampsia can happen up to six weeks after pregnancy.
  10. Swelling of the face, especially around the eyes, can be a sign of preeclampsia.
  11. Swelling of the feet is common during pregnancy and so is probably not a sign of preeclampsia, but swelling in the hands may be.
  12. Weight gain of more than five (5) lbs in a week should be monitored by your physician as this is a possible sign of preeclampsia.
  13. Persistent headaches that don’t go away even after taking pain medication is another symptom.
  14. Visual changes like seeing spots or flashes, blurry vision, blindness (even partial blindness) could also be symptoms.
  15. Nausea and vomiting after the “morning sickness” phase of pregnancy has passed could indicate preeclampsia
  16. Pain in the upper right belly may be a symptom of preeclampsia. It can sometimes feel like digestive trouble, but should be mentioned to your doctor.
  17. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing – we know, we know – as your pregnancy develops it may begin to feel like there’s just no room for your lungs anymore and breathing can seem almost impossible, but this type of shortness of breath will feel different and can sometimes leave you gasping or panting for air.
  18. Preeclampsia increases your risk for both heart disease and stroke.
  19. Some women with preeclampsia will have multiple symptoms.
  20. Some women with preeclampsia will have no symptoms.

Although researchers don’t yet know the exact cause of preeclampsia, it is a highly active area of research and new discoveries are being made all the time! If you or someone you love has suffered from or is currently suffering with preeclampsia, it’s important to remember that there is plenty of help available. Current sufferers should make sure that they keep all of their appointments with their OB/GYN and any other physicians. Past sufferers need to inform all current doctors that they have a history of preeclampsia in order to receive the best possible care.

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