Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period and affects both the mother and the unborn baby. It is a rapidly progressive condition with symptoms such as high blood pressure, protein in the urine, swelling, sudden weight gain, headaches and changes in vision are important symptoms; however, some women report few symptoms.
I am one of those women. I didn't officially get diagnosed with preeclampsia until I was at the hospital giving birth to Liam a month early. I repeatedly told my doctor my concerns about how swollen I always was and he just shrugged it off and told me swelling is normal. I was in the middle of testing for preeclampsia when I started bleeding. What I later learned was happening, was my placenta was detaching from the uterus, which scarily can cause stillbirth. Luckily, my little, 4 lb 13 oz, Liam is here and healthy, and was able to come home with me when I left the hospital.
All around the world, preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death. These disorders are responsible for roughly 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths each year.
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