Mothers who have just had a baby require monitoring and care, but they often become overlooked as the focus goes on the baby. But even a woman who had a safe and healthy pregnancy could be at risk for a serious complication after the birth.
Postpartum preeclampsia occurs when the mother has a spike in blood pressure and excessive protein in the urine. It can be fatal if she does not receive proper treatment.
Presentation of the condition
Postpartum preeclampsia may not be an issue for some time after the birth. Often, the mother is already out of the hospital when symptoms begin, which makes it especially dangerous. Onset usually happens two days to weeks after the birth. When it happens weeks later, some women may not connect the issues with childbirth, which can delay them from seeking help.
Symptoms to note
Symptoms will include shortness of breath, nausea, headaches, pain under the ribs and vision changes. Medical issues will include protein in the urine and high blood pressure.
Problems that can occur
The condition can lead to seizures, a stroke, organ damage, fluid in the lungs and death. With treatment, a doctor can usually avoid these severe issues, but a woman must seek medical help quickly after developing symptoms.
One of the biggest issues with postpartum preeclampsia is many women will ignore the symptoms until they become severe. You should always contact your doctor and insist they see you if you start to experience any new symptoms or issues after giving birth. A blood pressure and urine test can help to rule out this serious condition.