Understanding Preeclampsia and Eclampsia -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Preeclampsia and Eclampsia?

You may not notice an increase in blood pressure during pregnancy until it's dangerously high. So, it's critical for all pregnant women have regular scheduled visits with their obstetrician to check blood pressure and to watch for symptoms of preeclampsia, which include:

  • Rapid weight gain of 2 to 5 pounds in a single week
  • Swelling of the face or extremities, especially hands

Signs and symptoms generally develop after 34 weeks into a pregnancy and can be as early as 20 weeks. However, it can also occur after delivery.

If preeclampsia progresses to severe, you may begin to notice other symptoms, such as:

Call Your Doctor About Preeclampsia If:

You notice any of the preeclampsia symptoms listed above.

Women who already have hypertension are also at risk for developing preeclampsia. They may notice a worsening of their high blood pressure, or the health care provider may notice the sudden onset of protein in the urine.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Eric Johnson, MD on July 17, 2019



American Academy of Family Physicians. 

The Mayo Clinic. 

American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 

Preeclampsia Foundation.

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Task Force on Hypertension.

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