What Is Preeclampsia?

If you’re a first-time mother here in Connecticut and you’re worried about your pregnancy then you’re not alone. This is a concern shared by mothers across the nation and with good reason. There are a number of serious health conditions that can develop during the course of a pregnancy that can have a negative effect on an unborn child.

The key to preventing much of the negative effects is early detection, which requires the skill and expertise of attentive doctors and hospital staff. If a diagnosis is missed though, this could not only put the baby and the mother’s lives in danger, but could also lead to legal recourse as well.

One such condition that requires immediate diagnosis is preeclampsia. What is preeclampsia, you may ask? This is a pregnancy-related condition that only occurs in humans and causes a number of complications to arise during the pregnancy.

Although the cause of preeclampsia is still unknown, there are several symptoms that are associated with preeclampsia that can help with a diagnosis. One of the major warning signs is an elevation in a mother’s blood pressure after the twentieth week. Other symptoms may include visual disturbances, confusion, a burning sensation behind the sternum, nausea and vomiting, and even headaches — just to name a few.

As the Preeclampsia Foundation explains, preeclampsia can be an incredibly devastating disease that can be made worse by a delayed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis. It’s a topic we will touch on next week when we discuss the negative impact preeclampsia can have on a mother and child if the condition goes unnoticed or is misdiagnosed.

Source: The Preeclampsia Foundation, “FAQs,” Accessed Nov. 5, 2014

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