Pre-eclampsia is a condition that affects some pregnant women (usually in the second half of pregnancy) or occasionally women who have just given birth. The main two signs of pre-eclampsia are having high blood pressure and protein in your urine.
Your midwife will check for these signs during your normal antenatal appointments. But you might also notice symptoms of pre-eclampsia yourself, which include:
- Persistent headaches
- Abnormal swelling in your hands and face
- Sudden weight gain
- Changes in vision
- Pain in the upper right abdomen
In most cases, pre-eclampsia is very mild. But ff it’s left untreated, pre-eclampsia can lead to serious complications to both mother and baby. The only cure for pre-eclampsia is to give birth so until then, you’ll be monitored closely by your doctor or hospital.
You are more likely to develop pre-eclampsia if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a kidney disorder. Your likelihood can also be affected by genetic factors, being over 40, expecting multiple children, and having a BMI of 35 or over. But don't worry - all this means is that your healthcare team will keep a closer eye on you.