This information is available and taken from Baby Buddy app, verified by experts in our Editorial Board including representatives from Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and Royal College of Psychiatrists as well as other key health organisations in the UK. To download Baby Buddy, visit the relevant app store of your choice:

                             App Store download button         Google Play Store download button          Baby Buddy web app button

Pre-eclampsia is a common pregnancy condition that can lead to serious problems for you and your baby. Most women who get it only have a mild form, but it can be dangerous.

That's one reason why it's so important to go to antenatal appointments and get your urine tested and your blood pressure checked.

Midwives can spot pre-eclampsia by doing these tests. They're looking out for protein in your wee and high blood pressure, which are signs of pre-eclampsia.

Some women with pre-eclampsia feel completely normal, but some women get the following symptoms:

  • bad headaches
  • problems seeing, like blurred vision or flashing lights in front of your eyes
  • sudden swelling of your face, hands or feet
  • bad pain just below your ribs
  • vomiting.

If you get any of these symptoms you should contact your midwife right away.

Pre-eclampsia can appear any time after 20 weeks of pregnancy (and very rarely before 20 weeks). It is not caused by anything you have done and the only cure is for your baby to be born.

Sometimes if you have pre-eclampsia the doctor will advise you to stay in hospital until your baby is born, so they can monitor you carefully in case you develop complications which can be dangerous (for example having fits (eclampsia) or HELLP syndrome). They’ll probably advise you to have your baby at week 37 or 38, which may mean that you have an induced labour or a caesarean.

You can also find out more from this video:

If you are affected by pre-eclampsia you can get support from Action on Pre-Eclampsia (helpline 01386 761848).

You can also find out more from NHS Choices or from this RCOG leaflet.