Preeclampsia is a serious medical condition that must be closely monitored
Our Southlake obgyns have the experience to care for women with high-risk pregnancy issues such as preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a serious condition that women may develop from the twentieth week of pregnancy through the postpartum period, but it typically occurs during the third trimester.
Certain women have an increased risk of developing preeclampsia
Researchers have not been able to determine exactly what causes preeclampsia, but they do know what puts women at an increased risk for developing the condition.
- First pregnancy
- Medical history that includes chronic hypertension, kidney disease or both
- Personal or family history of preeclampsia
- Age 40 or older, known as advanced maternal age
- Adolescent pregnancy
- Pregnancy with multiples
- Medical conditions such as lupus, diabetes or thrombophilia
It’s important for pregnant women to know the signs and symptoms of the condition
Women with preeclampsia may not feel ill at all, and the condition may only be discovered during pregnancy office visits. If a woman notices swelling, or edema, in her hands, face or eyes; sudden weight gain of more than two pounds in one week; or sudden weight gain that occurs over a period of one or two days, she should call our Southlake obgyns.
High blood pressure is one of the primary symptoms of preeclampsia. Women should call our Southlake obgyns immediately if they notice any of the following symptoms that may indicate more severe preeclampsia.
- Persistent headache
- Difficulty breathing
- Upper abdominal or shoulder pain
- Nausea or vomiting during the second and third trimester
- Vision changes, such as seeing spots
Preeclampsia can cause serious problems for a mother and her baby
When preeclampsia occurs during pregnancy, it can lead to preterm labor and birth. In addition, mothers who have preeclampsia have an increased risk of developing kidney disease and cardiovascular disease later in life. They also have an increased risk of developing preeclampsia during subsequent pregnancies.
Diagnosis and management are very important
If our Southlake obgyns suspect that a woman has preeclampsia, the first step is a physical examination. Our physicians may also order blood and urine tests to determine whether symptoms of preeclampsia are present, such as abnormal levels of protein in the urine, a low platelet count or problems with liver or kidney function. Other tests, such as an ultrasound or non-stress test, can help evaluate the baby’s condition.
Women who have mild preeclampsia symptoms may be asked to monitor their blood pressure daily, as well as keep a log, called a kick count, of the baby’s movements. These women will also need to see our Southlake obgyns more often, usually once or twice a week. Severe preeclampsia needs to be monitored in the hospital for the mother and her baby’s safety.
Pregnant women in Southlake, Grapevine and the surrounding areas should contact us to schedule an appointment at our convenient Grapevine location. Our Southlake obgyns are fully prepared to manage routine and high-risk pregnancies.