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What you must know about Preeclampsia

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The complications of preeclampsia may lead to something fatal. Arm yourself with knowledge to keep you and your baby safe.

Definition

Preeclampsia is a pregnancy condition categorized by high blood pressure (hypertension) and increased protein in the urine. It is a multi-system disorder (failure of more than one bodily system) and in severe cases, preeclampsia can affect the liver and kidneys.

High blood pressure in pregnancy is defined as blood pressure higher than 140/90 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) on two readings, more than four hours apart.

The Singapore College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists defines two types of preeclampsia.

  • Preeclampsia where the expecting mother is at least 20 weeks pregnant, has a blood pressure reading exceeding 140/90 mmHg and protein in the urine exceeding 0.3g/24hr.
  • Severe Preeclampsia where the blood pressure reading exceeds 160/110 mmHg or the protein in the urine exceeds 3g/24hr, or there are symptoms of impending eclampsia (seizures in woman diagnosed with preeclampsia, in the absence of other causes).

Preeclampsia usually occurs after 20 weeks into the pregnancy. It can even occur ­after the delivery of the baby, but such a situation is much less common.

Continue reading to find out what preeclampsia symptoms are and when you should call your doctor 

Pregnancy Concerns