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Ocean Obstetric & Gynecologic Associates

Obstetrics & Gynecology located in Ocean, NJ & Howell, NJ

Preeclampsia is a common pregnancy complication that can lead to serious health problems for you and your baby. At Ocean Obstetric & Gynecologic Associates in Ocean and Howell, New Jersey, a team of skilled medical professionals offers thorough diagnosis and treatment for preeclampsia and all other pregnancy complications. Screening is part of routine prenatal care, so be sure to schedule a visit as soon as you learn you’re expecting. To schedule a prenatal visit, call today.

Preeclampsia Q & A

What is preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication marked by high maternal blood pressure. It usually occurs after your 20th week of pregnancy, and affects an estimated 2-8% of pregnancies around the world.

Every time your heart beats, it pumps blood through your arteries and into the smaller vessels of your circulatory system. The pumping places pressure against the walls of your arteries, both during each heartbeat and in the brief rests between beats, and the measurement is your blood pressure reading.

High blood pressure places a great deal of stress on virtually all systems in your body. Your kidneys and liver can sustain serious damage.    

What are the symptoms of preeclampsia?

Elevated blood pressure is usually the first sign of preeclampsia. Additional symptoms include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Severe headache
  • Vision changes like blurry vision or temporary loss of vision
  • Impaired liver function
  • Decreased urine output
  • Shortness of breath

Some women also experience sudden weight gain and swelling in the hands and feet. Aches and pains are a normal part of pregnancy, but anytime you experience significant discomfort or sudden symptoms, you should call Ocean Obstetric & Gynecologic Associates to determine if an urgent care appointment is necessary.  

What causes preeclampsia?

Researchers are uncertain of the exact cause of preeclampsia, but believe the problem stems from insufficient blood flow to your placenta. In the early stages of your pregnancy, your body creates new blood vessels to nourish your placenta. In some cases, those vessels are too narrow or don’t react properly to hormonal signals, which limits blood supply and increases blood pressure.

What can be done to treat preeclampsia?

If your baby has developed to the point where they can thrive, your doctor may suggest an early delivery. That decision is made based on numerous factors.

If your doctor wants you to wait until your baby reaches full development, there are things you can do to stay as healthy as possible until you can deliver. These steps include:

  • Schedule more frequent prenatal checkups
  • Rest in a reclined position on your left side to ease pressure on your blood vessels
  • Limit salt intake
  • Consume more protein
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day

For severe preeclampsia, certain medications can help lower your blood pressure.

To schedule a prenatal visit, call or use the online tool to book your visit today.

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