Preeclampsia is defined as high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy in a woman who previously had normal blood pressure. Even a slight increase in blood pressure may be a sign of preeclampsia. Left untreated, preeclampsia can lead to serious — even fatal — complications for both you and your baby.

If you have preeclampsia, the only cure is delivery of your baby. If you're diagnosed with preeclampsia too early in your pregnancy for delivery to be an option, you and your doctor face a challenging task. Your baby needs more time to mature, but you need to avoid putting yourself or your baby at risk of serious complications.

Apr. 21, 2011