Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-related condition that occurs when a woman has high blood pressure or protein in her urine. Regular prenatal visits with a doctor include screenings for preeclampsia, which can be very dangerous for both the mother and baby. Preeclampsia is the reason doctors began to provide prenatal care at the beginning of the 20th century, and it can occur in any pregnancy. Women are at increased risk for preeclampsia if they are in their first pregnancy, are younger than 20 or older than 40, are obese or if they have a multiple gestation. Women who have gestational diabetes or a history of other health problems are also at an increased risk.
If you are diagnosed with preeclampsia, it is important to closely follow your doctor’s treatment plan. The condition is sometimes treated with medication or bed rest, but the only cure is delivery of the baby.