Preeclampsia (“pree-ih-KLAMP-see-uh”) is a health problem that some women develop during pregnancy. Preeclampsia is usually mild, but it can be dangerous and even deadly for both a pregnant woman and her unborn baby.
Many women who have preeclampsia don’t feel sick. The main signs of preeclampsia are high blood pressure and more protein in your urine (pee) than normal. It’s important to get regular checkups during pregnancy so your doctor or midwife can check your blood pressure.
You are at higher risk for preeclampsia if you:
- Had preeclampsia in a previous pregnancy
- Are pregnant with more than one baby
- Have high blood pressure
- Have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, or certain autoimmune diseases
You may also be at risk if you:
- Are pregnant for the first time
- Are obese
- Have a family history of preeclampsia
- Are African American
- Are age 35 or older
Ask your doctor or midwife about your risk for preeclampsia. If you are at high risk, the doctor may recommend that you take a low dose (small amount) of aspirin while you are pregnant to help prevent preeclampsia.
What do I ask the doctor?
Visiting the doctor can be stressful. It helps to have questions written down before your appointment. Print this list of questions and take it with you the next time you visit your doctor or midwife.
- What are my blood pressure numbers – and are they normal?
- Am I at high risk of developing preeclampsia?
- If I develop preeclampsia, how could it affect me and my baby?
- Do you recommend that I take low-dose aspirin to help prevent preeclampsia?
- What are the risks and benefits (for me and the baby) if I take aspirin to prevent preeclampsia?
- What else can I do to have a healthy pregnancy?
Published: 12, 2014. By Health Finder
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