Preeclampsia: What is it?

Michelle Duggar gave birth prematurely because she suffered from preeclampsia, a not-so-rare condition that occurs during pregnancy. So what is it and could you get it too?


Preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced hypertension) is a condition that's characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine. It occurs in at 5 to 10 percent of all pregnancies. Preeclampsia poses a threat to you and your baby, the problem is there's no way for an expectant mother to prevent it.

Preeclampsia is more common in first pregnancies—but Josie Brooklyn Duggar was Michelle Duggar's 19th baby (doctors say her case was unusual). It's also more likely to occur in women younger than 20 and older than 35. If you've suffered from preeclampsia in one pregnancy, you're more likely to get it again.

Could you have preeclampsia? Here are the signs:


Signs of Preeclampsia

-- high blood pressure

-- severe headaches

-- swelling

-- changes in vision

-- upper abdominal pain

-- nausea or vomiting

-- dizziness

-- decreased urine output


If you experience any of the above, you should contact your doctor immediately.

(This is general mom advice and experience, but definitely check with your own health professional with any questions while pregnant.)

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