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Preeclampsia - When To Call a Doctor

Someone must call911or other emergency services immediately if you are having a seizure (eclampsia). Eclampsia can lead to a coma. It is life-threatening to both you and your baby.

If you are pregnant and have preeclampsia, your family and friends should know how to help during a seizure.

Seek medical care immediately if you are pregnant and begin to have symptoms of preeclampsia, such as:

  • Blurred vision or other vision problems.
  • Frequent headaches that are becoming worse or a persistent headache that does not respond to nonprescription pain medicine.
  • Pain or tenderness in your belly, especially in the upper right section.
  • Weight gain of 2 lb (0.9 kg) or more over a 24-hour period.
  • Shoulder, neck, and other upper body pain (this pain starts in the liver).

If you have mild high blood pressure or mild preeclampsia, you may not have any symptoms. It is important to see a health professional regularly throughout your pregnancy.

Symptoms such as heartburn or swelling in the legs and feet are normal during pregnancy. They usually aren't symptoms of preeclampsia. You can discuss these symptoms with your doctor or nurse-midwife at your next scheduled prenatal visit. But if swelling occurs along with other symptoms of preeclampsia, contact your doctor right away.

Who to see

If you get preeclampsia during pregnancy, you can be treated by:

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 21, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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