Looks like you’re in the USA or Canada. Visit our US site Mom365 to search baby names, get offers and to connect with local Moms.

Take me there No thanks, I’ll stay here
Close
Close

Join Bounty for free today

For weekly personalised pregnancy and parenting emails, and lots more…

Why should you join Bounty? Here's why:

  • Four free packs full of goodies
  • Four free guides full of expert advice
  • Exclusive and personalised offers - save up to 70%!
  • Member only competitions 
pregnancy-other-conditions

Pre-eclampsia

What are the symptoms and what will happen if I have it?

The symptoms of pre-eclampsia

Throughout your pregnancy, your midwives will be keeping an eye out for signs of pre-eclampsia, a condition that can cause serious problems for you and your baby if it goes undetected.

At a glance

  • Pre-eclampsia can cause your baby to grow more slowly, and could lead to an oxygen deficiency
  • Most of the symptoms are very obvious and will be picked up by your health professionals
  • If you are at risk, your midwife may advise you to take a low dose of aspirin from week 12 onwards

Most of the symptoms of pre-eclampsia are very obvious and will be picked up by your health professionals – they can included protein in your urine – which is why you have to give SO many wee samples at your ante-natal appointments – and high blood pressure (again, why you probably feel like you are constantly having your arm inflated by your midwife!). There are other signs that only you would spot though, including severe headaches, blurred vision and flashing lights before your eyes.

What shall I do if I think I have symptoms of pre-eclampsia?

If you experience any of these symptoms, even if you are usually prone to headaches or migraines, you must get checked out straight away. Other symptoms are oedema – swelling in the hands, face and feet brought on by the high blood pressure and fluid retention.

How common is pre-eclampsia?

Pre-eclampsia is thought to affect around five percent of pregnancies, with 1-2 percent of those mums having severe cases. Except in very rare circumstances, it only only occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and although the exact cause of it is not known,  it is generally thought to arise from a problem with the placenta.

Some mums have a higher risk of developing pre-eclampsia – those over 40, those expecting twins or more, and women with a family history of the condition.

What will happen if I'm diagnosed with pre-eclampsia?

If your midwives think you are at a risk of pre-eclampsia, they might advise you to take a low-dose aspirin from week 12 of your pregnancy onwards.

If you are diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, you will be assessed to see how serious your condition is, and your doctors will decide whether you need to be monitored in hospital. Pre-eclampsia can cause your baby to grow more slowly, and could lead to it having an oxygen deficiency.

You might be given drugs to lower your blood pressure, but there is no actual cure for pre-eclampsia – it only goes away once your baby has been born, so the decision might be made to deliver you early.

Support

If you need help or advice on pre-eclampsia, there is a UK charity called Action on Pre-eclampsia UK – they offer a helpline for mums and other concerned family members, and can give you information and support.

You can also talk to other mums in the Bounty Community for support and advice.

At a glance

  • Pre-eclampsia can cause your baby to grow more slowly, and could lead to an oxygen deficiency
  • Most of the symptoms are very obvious and will be picked up by your health professionals
  • If you are at risk, your midwife may advise you to take a low dose of aspirin from week 12 onwards
Pre-eclampsia  affects around 5% of pregnancies, with 1 to 2% of those mums having severe cases

Pre-eclampsia