Pre-eclampsia is a serious condition, linked to high blood pressure, which can put both pregnant mother and baby at risk.
Suzanne Baum looks into the condition...
Although the cause of pre-eclampsia is unknown, it is thought have a lot to do with defects in the placenta (after-birth).
The placenta joins mother and baby and is responsible for supplying nutrients and oxygen from the mother's blood.
The condition can cause symptoms such as severe headaches, blurred and flashing vision, photophobia (where light hurts the eyes), vomiting and fatigue among other things.
It can also lead to eclampsia, essentially a seizure or severe fit.
It sounds scary but the good news is that it’s rare.
However, as with most pregnancy complications, taking time to understand the risk factors and symptoms of the condition is important, particularly if you are a first time mum-to-be.
Being able to spot the signs early on can help reduce the risk to you and your baby, which is why it is so important to attend your prenatal appointments.
It’s at prenatal appointments where your doctor or midwife can check for high blood pressure and protein in the urine – the main characteristics of the condition.
The only cure for very serious cases of pre-eclampsia is delivery of the baby which may mean pre-mature delivery.