Ask Sofia: What Are the Signs of Preeclampsia?
Underscoring the importance of regular prenatal checkups, preeclampsia is a condition some pregnant women develop, usually in the third trimester, marked by high blood pressure as well as a high level of protein in the urine. Most common in first-time pregnancies (as well as teens and women over 40), preeclampsia can involve rapid weight and fluid gain, severe headaches, abdominal and/or low back pain, decrease in urine, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting. As you may have already determined, some of these symptoms can be common throughout your pregnancy, but when coupled together, merit an immediate call to your doctor.
The only cure for preeclampsia is to deliver the baby, although preeclampsia earlier in a pregnancy can be treated with close monitoring, steroids to help the baby’s lungs mature and magnesium sulfate to prevent seizures in moms. It’s also important to note that some women have preeclampsia without any of these symptoms, which is why prenatal checkups including blood pressure and urine screens are so important.