663 5060 ADDRESS: 60 Mount Street Lower, Grand Canal Dock, Dublin 2 info@merrionfetalhealth.ie

In the second half of pregnancy, some women may get pre­eclampsia, and it can also occur just after the baby has been delivered. Although we can’t be sure of its exact cause, it is believed to occur when there is an issue with the placenta.

Pre­eclampsia statistics

Mild cases of this condition affect around 5% of pregnancies.

1-­2% of pregnancies are affected by more severe instances of pre-­eclampsia.

Early warning signs of pre­eclampsia

Early indications of pre-­eclampsia include:

  • High blood pressure, also known as hypertension
  • Protenuria – which is the term for when protein in present in your urine
  • Swollen feet
  • Swollen ankles
  • Swollen hands
  • Swollen face
  • Impaired vision
  • Bad headaches
  • Pain below the ribcage

Of course some signs may be easily passed off as part of the experience of being pregnant, however being aware of these tell-tale signs may help you to spot them earlier. As you go for your ante-­natal check­ups, your healthcare provider will pick up on these indicators, even if you don’t yourself. If pre-­eclampsia is untreated, it can potentially lead to serious problems for both you and your baby. The sooner pre eclampsia is identified and monitored, of course the better the prognosis is, in general, for Mum and baby.

pre­eclampsia - pregnancy

Who is at higher risk?

There are a variety of factors which may increase your odds of developing this condition during your pregnancy, such as:

  • Kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Anti­phophlipid syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Being over 40 years of age
  • Having a pre­dispostion because of your family’s medical history
  • Your BMI (body mass index) is 35 or more
  • You are expecting twins, or other sets of multiples

What happens if I have pre­eclampsia

While in hospital, you will be tracked carefully to discover how serious the problem is and whether a hospital stay is desired. This may typically be at around 37­38 weeks of maternity, however it might be before in more serious instances. At this point, labour can be started artificially or you can have a caesarean section. Medication can be employed to reduce your blood pressure level while you wait for your baby to be delivered.

Stages of pregnancy and pre­eclampsia treatment and outcomes

The only cure for pre­eclampsia when it happens during pregnancy is to deliver the fetus. Treatment decisions have to take into consideration the seriousness of the illness and the possibility of maternal problems, how far along the pregnancy is, and the possible hazards to the fetus. Preferably, the healthcare provider will minimize hazards to the Mum while offering the fetus as much time as possible to develop before delivery. In case the baby is at 37 weeks or after, the healthcare provider will most likely want to deliver him to prevent any additional complications. In the case when the unborn baby is younger than 37 weeks, both Mum and her healthcare provider might want to think about other alternatives that give the foetus more time to develop, depending upon how serious the state is.

A healthcare provider might consider the following treatments:

In case the pre­eclampsia is mild, it might be possible to wait longer before delivering the baby. To assist in preventing further complications, the healthcare provider might ask the Mum to go on bed rest. Close observation of both here and her foetus will be necessary. Evaluations for the Mum can include blood and urine checks to see if, and how, the pre­eclampsia is progressing. Evaluations for the foetus might include ultrasonography, heart rate tracking, evaluation of fetal development, and amniotic fluid evaluation. Anticonvulsive medication, like magnesium sulfate, could be utilized to prevent a seizure. In several cases, like with severe pre­eclampsia, the mother to be will be admitted to hospital so she can be tracked carefully. Treatment in the hospital can possibly include intravenous drugs in order to regulate blood pressure level and avoid seizures or alternative complications, as well as steroid shots to help hasten the evolution of the fetus’s lungs. When a female has severe preeclampsia, the physician wil quite likely want to delivery the baby fetus as quickly as possible. Delivery normally is indicated if the pregnancy has continued more than 34 weeks. In cases when the foetus is less than 34 weeks, the physician will consider prescribing corticosteroids to help hasten the maturation of the lungs. In several cases, the physician may be required to deliver the fetus prematurely, even when that indicates potential problems for the baby due to the potential risk of serious maternal complications. Most often, the symptoms and signs of pre­eclampsia will have vanished, six weekr or so after delivery.


All articles on the blog and website are intended as information only. Please do not consider any of the information provided here as a substitute for medical advice. At all times seek medical advice directly with your own doctor and medical team.


Nuchal Translucency

11-14 weeks


Anatomy Survey

18-22 weeks


Later Dating

12-17 weeks


Gender Scan

19 weeks onwards


Growth & Well Being

22 weeks onwards


Post Dates & Liquor

40 weeks onwards


Loyalty Programme

Discover our loyalty scheme

About The Clinic

Merrion Fetal Health Pregnancy Scans Dublin 2

About The Consultants

Dr. Rhona Mahony

About The Team

Pregnancy scans lead sonographer at Merrion Fetal Health

Book Your Scan

Screen of Pregnancy Scan

Common Concerns


FAQs - Your Questions


GP Referral Scheme


Health Conditions


Healthy Pregnancy


Medical Studies


Patients' Information


Pregnancy Diary


Pregnancy Magazines

pregnancy health magazines

Scans & Services

18 weeks pregnancy scan facial profile Merrion Fetal Health

Susan's Trimesters

pregnancy trimesters

Videos By Consultants