Preeclampsia: What Is Preeclampsia?

I just found out that I have mild preeclampsia. I have to quit work six weeks early. I am 34 weeks pregnant, which the obstetrician says is good, but she would like it if I could go another two weeks without my blood pressure going much higher. Can you tell me something about this condition?

Question:

You need to rest and be watched closely. Getting the extra two weeks would be nice, but may not happen. Preeclampsia is a disease of pregnancy that is only cured by delivery. If there are only blood pressure problems, it may be helped by bed rest. If other problems develop, you will need to be delivered early. The good news is that, at 34 weeks, the baby should do fine.

The other signs of preeclampsia are protein in the urine, excessive weight gain (due to swelling) and the more serious signs like persistent headache, which doesn't go away with Tylenol. Also, upper abdominal pain may occur. There may also be abnormal lab results such as low platelets, high uric acid, elevated liver enzymes, low oxygen levels and more.

You will need to be monitored for these things once or twice per week at least. The baby will also have to be monitored.

This is not to scare you. While most preeclampsia is relatively mild, it can get severe quickly so you will need to be monitored very carefully.

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