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What is Pre-Eclampsia and Eclampsia

 Pre-Eclampsia is a condition that affects some pregnant women, Pre-Eclampsia rarely happens before the 20th week of pregnancy. Most cases occur in the third trimester, after 24-26 weeks the condition can also develop for the first time during the first six weeks after the birth.


   Although many cases are mild, the condition can lead to serious complications for both mother and baby if it is not monitored and treated. The earlier Pre-Eclampsia is diagnosed and monitored, the better the outlook for mother and baby. Generally, the earlier Pre-Eclampsia develops the more severe the condition will be.

  If diagnosed with Pre-Eclampsia, they should be referred to a specialist working in a hospital for further tests and more frequent monitoring.   Depending on the severity of the condition, they may be able to go home after an initial assessment and have frequent outpatient appointments. In severe cases, they may need to stay in hospital for closer observation.

   The only way to cure Pre-Eclampsia is to deliver the baby, so they will be monitored regularly until it is possible for the baby to be delivered. This will normally be at around 37-38 weeks of pregnancy. If the condition becomes more severe before 37 weeks and there are serious concerns about the health of mother or their baby, earlier delivery may be necessary. Deliveries before 37 weeks are known as premature births and babies born before this point may not be fully developed. At this point, labour may be started artificially (induced) or a caesarean may be performed. This is recommended because research suggests there is no benefit in waiting for labour to start by after this point. Delivering the baby early can also reduce the risk of complications from Pre-Eclampsia.