Today is Preeclampsia Awareness Day.
Preeclampsia is a life-threatening disorder of pregnancy related to high blood pressure in the second and third trimesters.
According to the Preeclampsia Foundation:
Preeclampsia is a serious condition of pregnancy, and can be particularly dangerous because many of the signs are silent while some symptoms resemble “normal” effects of pregnancy on your body. Many women suffering from preeclampsia don’t feel sick, and may be surprised or become frustrated when they are admitted to the hospital or prescribed bed rest since they still feel well.
They encourage expectant mothers to familiarise themselves with the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia and to ensure that you never miss your doctor’s visits as proper prenatal care is essential. Weighing in, checking your blood pressure and testing your urine for protein, each important for detecting preeclampsia, should take place at every prenatal visit.
Watch the youtube below to familiarise yourself with the 7 most common symptoms of preeclampsia:
Recap – The 7 symptoms:
- Swelling of hands and face, especially around the eyes. Swelling of the feet is quite common in late pregnancy and probably not a sign of preeclampsia
- Weight Gain of more than five pounds in a week
- Headache that won’t go away even after taking certain medication
- Changes in vision like seeing spots or flashing lights; partial or total loss of eyesight
- Nausea or throwing up, especially suddenly, after mid pregnancy – not like the morning sickness experienced in early pregnancy
- Upper right belly pain, sometimes mistaken for indigestion or flu
- Difficulty breathing, gasping, panting and shortness of breath
Is there a cure?
The Irish National Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research (INFANT) Centre based at Cork University Maternity Hospital is currently developing an early diagnostic test for preeclampsia. They are currently recruiting throughout Europe for expectant mothers to take part in early screening tests for more information see The IMPROVED project http://www.fp7-improved.eu/mothers