Preeclampsia is a potentially dangerous pregnancy complication marked by high blood pressure, swelling, and protein in the urine. It usually occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Preeclampsia affects about five percent of pregnancies in the US. Without treatment, preeclampsia can be fatal.
At Dignity Health Family Birth Centers, the safety of you and your child is our priority. If you notice symptoms of a maternal condition, schedule an appointment with a professional Dignity Health OB near you for personal treatment. We provide exceptional care for preeclampsia in Sacramento and the surrounding areas — Find a Doctor today.
What Causes Preeclampsia?
The exact cause of preeclampsia is not clear. However, there are many known risk factors. Things that increase your risk of preeclampsia during your current pregnancy include:
- History of high blood pressure or kidney disease
- Previous history of preeclampsia
- Being pregnant for the first time
- Age older than 40
- Being pregnant with more than one baby (multiple gestation)
- History of diabetes, lupus, or a blood clotting disorder
- In vitro fertilization (IVF)
Common Signs of Preeclampsia
Signs and symptoms of preeclampsia include:
- Swelling in the hands and face
- High blood pressure (blood pressure greater than 140/90, especially in women who usually have normal blood pressure — less than 120/80)
- Too much protein in the urine
- Upper abdominal pain
- Blurred vision, light sensitivity, or temporary loss of vision
Monitoring & Treating Preeclampsia with Care in the Sacramento Region
Because women without any risk factors can develop preeclampsia, your experienced doctor at Dignity Health will monitor your blood pressure and urine during pregnancy. The only cure for preeclampsia is birth. For this reason, doctors carefully weigh the risks of continuing the pregnancy against the risks of delivery. If you develop symptoms of preeclampsia at or after 37 weeks of pregnancy, your doctor will probably recommend inducing labor and birth. The symptoms of preeclampsia go away within six weeks of giving birth.
If you are not yet at 37 weeks of pregnancy, your doctor will try to give the baby extra time to develop in the womb. For mild preeclampsia, providers will monitor your health more frequently than usual for warning signs .
Women with moderate to severe preeclampsia are admitted to one of our state-of-the-art hospitals for around-the-clock monitoring. Using the latest methods, our medical treatment may include intravenous fluids, medication to prevent seizures and control blood pressure, and steroid injections to speed up the baby’s lung development. If your health is at risk, the doctor will recommend immediate delivery, even if the baby is premature.
Rely on your doctor and care team at our Family Birth Centers to look after the complete well-being of you and your baby. Dignity Health provides quality, personal care for pregnant mothers with preeclampsia in the Sacramento region.