Pre-eclampsia and Eclampsia

It is important to monitor your blood pressure closely throughout the pregnancy. If you notice a lot of swelling in your hands and feet you should consult your midwife immediately, as it could be the sign of pre-eclampsia.

Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, often the kidneys. Preeclampsia usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in a woman whose blood pressure had been normal. Even a slight rise in blood pressure may be a sign of preeclampsia. It is characterized by a rise in blood pressure and swelling of hands, feet or face. Mild pre-eclampsia is not dangerous, but needs to be treated as it can progress to more serious conditions. Severe pre-eclampsia can produce symptoms such as severe headaches and abdominal pain. In rare cases women with pre-eclampsia can develop severe eclampsia. Eclampsia is a term that describes one or more convulsions, or seizures, occurring during or immediately after pregnancy.

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