Preeclampsia is primarily characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine during pregnancy. This condition may be mild or severe. The symptoms for mild preeclampsia include hypertension, protein in urine, and water retention.
The symptoms for severe preeclampsia include blurred vision, severe headaches, infrequent urination (usually small amounts only), abdominal pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, and bruising easily. Since preeclampsia may prevent the placenta from getting enough blood, the baby may have less nourishment which may lead to low birthweight. If untreated, this may progress to eclampsia. Those who are at risk of developing preeclampsia include history of hypertension, having relatives who had preeclampsia, carrying multiple babies, obesity, kidney concerns, and older than 40 years old or younger than 20 years old. Though there is no guaranteed way to prevent this condition, most physicians encourage pregnant women to drink much water, lessen salt intake, take time to elevate the feet, have enough rest and exercise, and avoid alcohol and caffeine.