Postpartum preeclampsia: symptoms. Causes. Treatment. prevention

  • Preeclampsia can also occur after childbirth and cause seizures or other complications.
  • You may experience severe headaches, blurred vision, and swelling of your face and limbs.
  • Postpartum preeclampsia can be treated with intravenous or oral drugs and may require a brief hospital stay.
  • For more information, see the Insider Health Reference Library.

Preeclampsia refers to a blood pressure disorder that affects approx 5% to 88%Lots of people are pregnant. It’s easy to believe that you will be safe after giving birth.


You can still see the benefits of genetics after your baby is born.

The effects of postpartum preeclampsia can vary widely. From less than 1% to almost 28%Experts estimate that around 80% of women have preeclampsia after giving birth. However, research on this condition is much more limited than research on preeclampsia during pregnancy.


Postpartum preeclampsia often develops in the first trimester. 48 hours after deliveryIt is possible to develop it up to six weeks after giving birth. ONE Small study 2019It is possible that postpartum preeclampsia may develop at the end of or after pregnancy, but it is not noticed until after the birth.

Preeclampsia can be triggered by the following symptoms:

  • Severe headache
  • Blurred vision or seeing spots
  • Swelling in your arms and legs or face
  • Difficulty breathing
  • stomach pain
  • Nausea and vomiting

Headaches are common in people with postpartum preeclampsia. 2011 small studyAlmost 70% of those who experienced them said they were there. But it is also possible to be asymptomatic – a Small study 2020It was found that only 6% of patients with postpartum preeclampsia had no symptoms.

In one Study 2017Some parents reported that their preeclampsia symptoms were misinterpreted by medical staff when they had just given birth. The parents suffered medical complications, which underscores the importance of raising awareness of postpartum preeclampsia.

In short, it’s unclear how often symptoms of this condition go undetected – but it’s important to stand up for yourself if your symptoms affect you.

“If someone is sent home but still doesn’t feel right, they should insist on being seen by a gynecologist right away,” says Renita knowsGeorgia Obstetrics and Gynology, an OB / GYN.

You can take your blood pressure at home if you are concerned about postpartum hypertension.

Factors that increase your risk of developing disease

Although experts don’t know exactly what causes preeclampsia, they do know that it is common. SuggestThe placenta is an organ that supplies food and oxygen to the fetus during pregnancy and plays an important role.

It used to be called birth taken into accountAlthough treatment for preeclampsia is the most common, experts now recognize that preeclampsia can develop even after your baby and placenta are born.

It turns out that the effects of the placenta on your body can persist even after it’s gone. after a Small study 2019Preeclampsia symptoms may have been caused by differences in the placenta before birth.

Possible complications

Untreated preeclampsia can be life threatening.

“Postpartum preeclampsia is a complex diagnosis that can have serious consequences,” said White.

Many of the preeclampsia complications associated with postpartum preeclampsia can be compared to preeclampsia. You can reduce your risk of developing this condition by getting treated and examined as soon as possible.

  • Eclampsia.Preeclampsia can lead to eclampsia. The reasonsSeizures and convulsions. About One in fiveEclampsia can occur in the postpartum period.
  • HELLP syndrome. HELLP – hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low blood platelet syndrome is a severe form of preeclampsia. The signs are nausea and stomach pain. About 30%Many cases of HELLP syndrome occur after birth.

In the meantime, Research from 2011These can be long-term complications of preeclampsia.

ONE 2019 big studyBecause it’s tied to the standard of preeclampsia, postpartum preeclampsia can increase your risk

Heart disease

in the future – but taking measures to control your blood pressure can help reduce these risks.

Treatment and diagnosis

Preeclampsia can be diagnosed regardless of whether you are pregnant or gave birth to your baby. Jenn Conti, an OB / GYN and medical advisor Modern fertility.

A quick diagnosis can be made by learning to recognize the symptoms of preeclampsia. You can also check your blood pressure to help determine when to see your doctor.

A postpartum exam can determine if you have preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is diagnosed by your doctor based on your high blood pressure.

You may order urine and blood tests to confirm a diagnosis of preeclampsia.

Your doctor may ask you to monitor your symptoms closely if you have postpartum preeclampsia. However, they can recommend that you start treatment right away.

treatment This can include:

  • IV drugs to lower your blood pressureUsually the first step in treatment is lowering your blood pressure. Anti-hyperintensive drugs are drugs your doctor may prescribe to lower blood pressure. Hydralazine and labetalolThis is especially important if your blood pressure has dropped 160/110 mm Hg and higher.
  • Oral medication Once your blood pressure has dropped to at least 140/90 mm Hg, you can take a prescription drug to further lower your blood pressure and keep it at that level.

Some medications you may be given for postpartum preeclampsia include:

  • Magnesium sulfateAnticonvulsant, used to prevent or control seizures. Your doctor may prescribe magnesium sulfate to reduce the risk of seizures.
  • DiureticsThese drugs promote urination. These drugs Can lower blood pressureThis allows your body to eliminate extra fluids.

Postpartum preeclampsia can be a sign that you have a problem. Higher riskThat is

High blood pressure

Further forward. To avoid severe symptoms, your doctor may recommend that you monitor your blood pressure at home.


Many of the same approaches that lower the risk of preeclampsia can also decrease the likelihood of postpartum preeclampsia.

Preventive measures include checkups and regular checks. “We now screen every pregnant person for preeclampsia at the start of their pregnancy to see if they are from the age of 12.

Here are some ways to reduce your risk of preeclampsia after childbirth.

  • Aspirin.Your doctor may think you are at high risk. Might be a recommendationAspirin is used to prevent preeclampsia.
  • Lifestyle changesHealthy habits like regular exercise and nutritious foods can help you maintain a healthy weight. This could lower your riskThe possibility of preeclampsia.
  • Hydration. Get enough water Might be of helpYou can lower your risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy and afterwards. This is the best way to lower your risk of high blood pressure during and after pregnancy. American College of Obstetricians and GynecologistsIt is recommended that you drink 64-96 ounces of fluids daily during pregnancy.
  • Calcium. Taking calcium supplements during pregnancy It can be helpfulLower your chance of getting preeclampsia.

You can do all of these things and still develop preeclampsia – and that doesn’t mean you did anything wrong. Many of the ways pregnancy can affect your body are beyond your control.

Your doctor or midwife can provide more information about how to reduce your risk of preeclampsia after childbirth. You can also make recommendations that are specific to your situation.

Insider tips

You can be aware that preeclampsia is still possible after the birth.

“It’s more scary after the birth because people often think they are out of the woods and may not pay attention to it, so it can go unnoticed for longer,” Conti.

If you think you might have preeclampsia after having a baby, you should call your gynecologist or see an emergency doctor right away.

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