- Stages of Pregnancy Slideshow Pictures
- Early Pregnancy Symptoms
- Conception (Egg to Embryo) Slideshow Pictures
- Patient Comments: Preeclampsia - Personal Experience
- Find a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
- Preeclampsia Facts*
- What Is High Blood Pressure?
- What Are the Effects of High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy?
- What Is Preeclampsia?
- How Common Are High Blood Pressure and Preeclampsia in Pregnancy?
- Who Is More Likely to Develop Preeclampsia?
- What Are the Symptoms of Preeclampsia and How Is It Detected?
- How Can Women with High Blood Pressure Prevent Problems During Pregnancy?
- Does Hypertension or Preeclampsia During Pregnancy Cause Long-Term Heart and Blood Vessel Problems?
Quick GuideStages of Pregnancy: See the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Trimesters of Mom & Baby
What Are the Symptoms of Preeclampsia and How Is It Detected?
Unfortunately, there is no single test to predict or diagnose preeclampsia. Key signs are increased blood pressure and protein in the urine (proteinuria). Other symptoms that seem to occur with preeclampsia include persistent headaches, blurred vision or sensitivity to light, and abdominal pain.
All of these sensations can be caused by other disorders; they can also occur in healthy pregnancies. Regular visits with your doctor help him or her to track your blood pressure and level of protein in your urine, to order and analyze blood tests that detect signs of preeclampsia, and to monitor fetal development more closely.
How Can Women with High Blood Pressure Prevent Problems During Pregnancy?
If you are thinking about having a baby and you have high blood pressure, talk first to your doctor or nurse. Taking steps to control your blood pressure before and during pregnancy-and getting regular prenatal care-go a long way toward ensuring your well-being and your baby's health.
Before becoming pregnant:
- Be sure your blood pressure is under control. Lifestyle changes such as limiting your salt intake, participating in regular physical activity, and losing weight if you are overweight can be helpful.
- Discuss with your doctor how hypertension might affect you and your baby during pregnancy, and what you can do to prevent or lessen problems.
- If you take medicines for your blood pressure, ask your doctor whether you should change the amount you take or stop taking them during pregnancy. Experts currently recommend avoiding angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and Angiotensin II (AII) receptor antagonists during pregnancy; other blood pressure medications may be OK for you to use. Do not, however, stop or change your medicines unless your doctor tells you to do so.
While you are pregnant:
- Obtain regular prenatal medical care.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco.
- Talk to your doctor about any over-the-counter medications you are taking or are thinking about taking.