The other signs and symptoms of preeclampsia may include:
- Lower back pain, which may indicate impaired liver function
- Upper abdominal pain
- Severe headaches
- Increased swelling; please note that some swelling is normal during pregnancy by increased swelling around the eyes, in the face, hands, or legs may indicate preeclampsia.
- Vision problems, such as sensitivity to bright light
- Sudden weight gain (more than 4 pounds of 1.8 kilos in a week)
- Nausea or vomiting that comes backs midway through pregnancy
- Shortness of breath
- Decreased urine output
- Protein in the urine (proteinuria), which may indicate changes in kidney function
- Decreased platelet levels
Dangers of preeclampsia
If preeclampsia signs remain untreated, it can lead to complications like preterm birth, fetal growth restriction, eclampsia, cardiovascular disease, and placenta abruption. In this condition, the placenta detaches prematurely before the baby’s delivery.
Uncontrolled preeclampsia can also result in HELLP syndrome, which means hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells), elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count. HELLP can be life-threatening for both mom and baby, and it also represents damage to other organs.
Please note that HELLP can be dangerously unpredictable. It may develop suddenly even before detecting a rise in the blood pressure, or it may occur without any symptom.
What can mothers do about preeclampsia?
Mothers must attend their prenatal check-ups, so their doctor can spot the signs of preeclampsia, particularly high blood pressure and protein in their urine.
Once diagnosed, the treatment will depend on several factors, like how severe your symptoms are, how far along you are, and your baby’s health. If possible, the doctor may recommend the early delivery of your baby, as it’s the most effective way to treat the condition.
If delivery is not yet possible, the doctor will most likely give you instructions on how often you’ll need to attend check-ups, monitor your BP, and undergo tests.
They may also give you some medications and order bedrest. In severe preeclampsia cases, the physician may also recommend hospitalization, so that you can be monitored more closely.
Learn more about Pregnancy Complications here.