- By sahlhealth
- May 18, 2021
- 43 views
Postpartum preeclampsia is a rare condition that occurs when you have high blood pressure and excess protein in your urine soon after childbirth. Preeclampsia is a similar condition that develops during pregnancy and typically resolves with the birth of the baby.
Most cases of postpartum preeclampsia develop within 48 hours of childbirth. However, postpartum preeclampsia sometimes develops up to six weeks or later after childbirth. This is known as late postpartum preeclampsia.
Postpartum preeclampsia requires prompt treatment. Left untreated, postpartum preeclampsia can cause seizures and other serious complications.
Postpartum preeclampsia can be difficult to detect on your own. Many women who experience postpartum preeclampsia show no signs or symptoms during pregnancy. Also, you might not suspect that anything is wrong when you're focused on recovering after childbirth and caring for a newborn.
Signs and symptoms of postpartum preeclampsia — which are typically the same as symptoms of preeclampsia — might include:
High blood pressure (hypertension) — 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or greater
Excess protein in your urine (proteinuria)
Changes in vision, including temporary loss of vision, blurred vision or light sensitivity
Upper abdominal pain, usually under the ribs on the right side
If you have signs or symptoms of postpartum preeclampsia shortly after childbirth, contact your health care provider right away. Depending on the circumstances, you might need immediate medical care.
Postpartum preeclampsia may be treated with medication, including:
Medication to lower high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is dangerously high, your health care provider might prescribe a medication to lower your blood pressure (antihypertensive medication).
Medication to prevent seizures. Magnesium sulfate can help prevent seizures in women with postpartum preeclampsia who have severe signs and symptoms. Magnesium sulfate is typically taken for 24 hours. After treatment with magnesium sulfate, your health care provider will closely monitor your blood pressure, urination and other symptoms.
If you're breastfeeding, it's generally considered safe to breastfeed while taking these medications. Ask your health care provider if you have any questions or you're not sure.