What are the signs of postpartum preeclampsia?

Answered by James Kissner

Postpartum preeclampsia is a condition that affects some women after giving birth. It is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. The signs of postpartum preeclampsia can vary, but some common symptoms include:

1. High blood pressure (hypertension): One of the key signs of postpartum preeclampsia is having a blood pressure reading of 140/90 mm Hg or higher. This is higher than the normal range and can indicate a problem.

2. Excess protein in urine (proteinuria): Another important sign of postpartum preeclampsia is the presence of protein in the urine. This can be detected through a simple urine test. Proteinuria is a result of kidney damage caused by the condition.

3. Severe headaches: Many women with postpartum preeclampsia experience severe headaches that are not relieved with over-the-counter pain medications. These headaches can be persistent and intense.

4. Changes in vision: Another symptom to watch out for is changes in vision. This can include temporary loss of vision, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light. These vision changes can be a result of increased pressure in the brain.

5. Pain in the upper belly: Some women with postpartum preeclampsia may experience pain in the upper belly, typically under the ribs on the right side. This pain can be a sign of liver involvement and should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.

It is important to note that these symptoms can vary in severity and may not always be present. Some women may only experience one or two symptoms, while others may have a combination of several. It is crucial to seek medical attention if you experience any of these signs after giving birth.

In my personal experience, I had a friend who developed postpartum preeclampsia a few weeks after giving birth. She initially dismissed her symptoms as normal postpartum discomforts, but luckily she sought medical attention when her headaches became severe and she noticed swelling in her hands and face. She was diagnosed with postpartum preeclampsia and was promptly treated with medication to lower her blood pressure and manage her symptoms. This experience highlighted the importance of recognizing the signs and seeking medical help promptly.

To summarize, the signs of postpartum preeclampsia include high blood pressure, excess protein in urine, severe headaches, changes in vision, and pain in the upper belly. It is crucial to be aware of these symptoms and seek immediate medical attention if they occur after giving birth.