Preeclampsia after Pregnancy

what is preeclampsia after giving birth

Postpartum preeclampsia is an unusual condition that happens when a lady has high blood pressure and excess protein in her urine soon after childbirth.

What is Preeclampsia after Pregnancy?

Most cases of postpartum preeclampsia develop within 48 hours of childbirth. Nevertheless, postpartum preeclampsia in some cases develops as much as 6 weeks after giving birth. This is called late postpartum preeclampsia.

Postpartum preeclampsia needs timely treatment. Left untreated, postpartum preeclampsia can lead to seizures and other major complications.

What is postpartum preeclampsia? Preeclampsia is a comparable condition that develops throughout pregnancy and usually solves with the birth of the baby.

Symptoms of Preeclampsia after Pregnancy

Postpartum preeclampsia can be challenging to find by yourself. Numerous women who experience postpartum preeclampsia show no signs or symptoms during pregnancy. Likewise, you might not think that anything is wrong when you’re concentrated on recuperating after childbirth and caring for a newborn.

Signs and symptoms of preeclampsia after pregnancy – which are usually just like those of preeclampsia that takes place during pregnancy– might consist of:

  • Hypertension (hypertension)– 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher
  • Excess protein in your urine (proteinuria).
  • Severe headaches.
  • Changes in vision, including temporary loss of vision, blurred vision or light level of sensitivity.
  • Swelling of the face and limbs.
  • Upper abdominal pain, usually under the ribs on the right side.
  • Nausea or throwing up.
  • Reduced urination.
  • Sudden weight gain, typically more than 2 pounds (0.9 kilogram) a week.

If you have signs or symptoms of postpartum preeclampsia shortly after giving birth, call your healthcare supplier right away. Depending on the conditions, you may require immediate treatment.


The reasons for postpartum preeclampsia and preeclampsia that takes place during pregnancy aren’t well-understood. While preeclampsia is usually treated by giving birth, it’s believed that postpartum preeclampsia is set into movement throughout pregnancy however doesn’t cause symptoms until after delivery.

Risk factors

Minimal research study suggests that danger factors for preeclampsia after pregnancy might consist of:

  • Hypertension throughout your latest pregnancy (hypertensive disease). You’re at enhanced threat of postpartum preeclampsia if you established high blood pressure after 20 weeks of pregnancy (gestational hypertension).
  • Weight problems. The risk of postpartum preeclampsia is higher if you’re overweight.
  • Household history. Having a first-degree relative– a parent or sibling– with a history of preeclampsia increases your danger of preeclampsia.
  • Age. Women who are below 20 or older than 40 are at increased danger of preeclampsia.
  • Having multiples. Having twins or more babies increases your danger of preeclampsia.

Recent research studies suggest that the dad’s genes may play a role in an enhanced threat of preeclampsia.


Issues of postpartum preeclampsia consist of:

  • Postpartum eclampsia. Preeclampsia after pregnancy is basically postpartum preeclampsia plus seizures. Postpartum eclampsia can completely harm crucial organs, including your brain, liver and kidneys. Left neglected, postpartum eclampsia can cause coma. In many cases, the condition is fatal.
  • Pulmonary edema. This deadly lung condition occurs when excess fluid develops in the lungs.
  • Stroke. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is disrupted or significantly lowered, denying brain tissue of oxygen and food. A stroke is a medical emergency situation.
  • Thromboembolism. Thromboembolism is the blockage of a blood vessel by a blood clot that travels from another part of the body. This condition is likewise a medical emergency situation.
  • HELLP syndrome. HELLP syndrome– which means hemolysis (the damage of red cell), elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count– can be dangerous.

Similar to preeclampsia, postpartum preeclampsia may also enhance your danger of future heart disease.

Preparing for your appointment

If you’ve just recently given birth and have any signs or symptoms of postpartum preeclampsia, contact your health care service provider right away.

Here’s some info to assist you prepare for your appointment, in addition to what to get out of your healthcare supplier.

What you can do

Before your consultation, you might want to:.

  • Ask about pre-appointment restrictions. In many cases you’ll be seen instantly. If that’s not the case, ask whether you must restrict your activities while you await your consultation.
  • Discover a loved one or pal who can join you for your appointment. Fear and anxiety might make it tough to concentrate on what your health care provider states. Take someone along who can help you keep in mind all the info.
  • Write down concerns to ask your health care company. That method, you won’t forget anything crucial that you want to ask, and you can maximize your time with your health care supplier.

Below are some basic concerns to ask your health care supplier about postpartum preeclampsia.

How major is my condition?
What are the treatment choices?
What kinds of tests do I require?
Can I remain to do my normal activities?
How can I best handle other health conditions together with postpartum preeclampsia?
What signs or symptoms should trigger me to call you or go to the hospital?

In addition to the concerns you’ve prepared, don’t hesitate to ask other concerns throughout your consultation.

What to get out of your doctor

Your healthcare provider is likely to ask you a number of concerns, too. For instance:.

Have you had any unusual symptoms lately, such as blurred vision or headaches?
When did you first notice your signs or symptoms?
Do you generally have high blood pressure?
Did you experience preeclampsia or postpartum preeclampsia with any previous pregnancies?
Have you had other complications throughout a previous pregnancy?
Do you have other health conditions?
Do you have a history of headache or migraine headache?

Tests and diagnosis

If you’ve already been released from the healthcare facility after giving birth and your health care company suspects that you have postpartum preeclampsia, you might have to be readmitted to the medical facility.

Postpartum preeclampsia is generally identified with lab tests:.

Blood tests. These tests can figure out how well your liver and kidneys are functioning and whether your blood has a typical number of platelets– the cells that help blood clot.
Urinalysis. Your health care company might test a sample of your urine to see if it includes protein.

Treatments and drugs

Postpartum preeclampsia may be treated with medication, including:.

  • Medication to lower hypertension. If your blood pressure is alarmingly high, your healthcare service provider may prescribe a medication to lower your high blood pressure (antihypertensive medication).
  • Medication to avoid seizures. An anticonvulsive medication, such as magnesium sulfate, can assist avoid seizures. Magnesium sulfate is usually taken for 24 hours. After treatment with magnesium sulfate, your health care company will carefully monitor your high blood pressure, urination and other symptoms.

If you’re breast-feeding, it’s typically considered safe to breast-feed while taking these medications. Ask your health care company if you have any questions or you’re unsure.

Coping and assistance

The postpartum duration typically brings physical pain in addition to emotional ups and downs. If you’re detected with postpartum preeclampsia, you might need to stay in the health center longer than you planned or be readmitted to the hospital. This can trigger extra stress.

Lean on enjoyed ones and other close contacts for support. Likewise, deal with your health care service provider to figure out how you can securely manage your condition and your function as mom of a newborn.

Last modified: August 7, 2016


The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures.

Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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