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Understanding Preeclampsia and Eclampsia -- Prevention

How Can I Prevent Preeclampsia and Eclampsia?

Preeclampsia is a potentially dangerous condition in which a pregnant woman develops high blood pressure -- or her hypertension worsens -- threatening the health of her unborn child and herself. Preeclampsia, which may develop into eclampsia, may interfere with the placenta's ability to deliver oxygen and nutrition to the fetus. Your baby may be born weighing less than normal, may have other health problems, and may need to be delivered early.

Because no one knows what causes preeclampsia, it is very difficult to know how to prevent it. But once preeclampsia has been identified, there are steps you can take to prevent eclampsia, the more serious form of preeclampsia, as well as reduce the chance that preeclampsia harms the developing baby. These include:

  • Bed rest
  • Careful monitoring of the mother and baby
  • Delivery of the baby

Aspirin has been shown to have a protective effect in women with risk factors for preeclampsia. If you have significant risk factors and a history of preeclampsia, your health care provider may recommend that you take a low dose of aspirin daily.

Once the baby has been delivered, your blood pressure should return to normal.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Trina Pagano, MD on April 10, 2014

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