15What Is Preeclampsia?
Also called toxemia or pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia is a condition that only afflicts pregnant women. It causes high blood pressure in women who did not have high blood pressure prior to being pregnant. It also causes high levels of protein in the urine, as well as swelling in the hands,
legs, face and feet.
Typically, women who develop preeclampsia will develop it after 20 weeks gestation, though it can occur earlier. When it is diagnosed before 32 weeks gestation, the condition is known as early-onset preeclampsia.
The majority of preeclampsia will resolve without an issue, but if left untreated, the condition can be very dangerous to the expectant mom and her baby. For that reason, it is extremely important for pregnant women to receive proper prenatal care.
During each prenatal appointment, doctors will examine the expectant moms urine for protein and will take her blood pressure to ensure that she is not showing signs of preeclampsia.