World Pre-eclampsia Day 2019

Today we are highlighting our support for the worldwide initiative to raise awareness of pre-eclampsia and its global impact on the lives of mothers, babies and families.

Pregnancy news, 22/05/2019

Today, on World Pre-eclampsia Day, Tommy’s is giving our support to the worldwide initiative to raise awareness of pre-eclampsia and the impact it has on up to 6% of pregnancies in the UK and 2–8% globally. If left untreated, pre-eclampsia can be dangerous for both the mother and baby.

What is pre-eclampsia?

Pre-eclampsia is a condition that only occurs in pregnancy – typically after 20 weeks – and affects 2–8 in 100 women. It is diagnosed through a combination of hypertension (raised blood pressure) and proteinuria in pregnancy (the presence of protein in your urine). There is currently no cure for pre-eclampsia. Delivering the baby is the only ‘cure,’ which is why it is a major cause of premature birth

What causes pre-eclampsia?

The exact cause of pre-eclampsia is not known and more research is needed. However, it’s thought that there is a link between pre-eclampsia and problems with the placenta.

What are the signs of pre-eclampsia?

Women with mild pre-eclampsia may not show any symptoms, and it is usually only discovered during routine antenatal appointments (through standard blood pressure checks and urine samples).

If the condition gets more severe, various pre-eclampsia symptoms can develop, including:

  • severe headache that doesn’t go away with simple painkillers
  • problems with vision, such as blurring or flashing before the eyes
  • severe pain just below the ribs
  • nausea or vomiting
  • heartburn that doesn’t go away with antacids
  • rapidly increasing swelling of the face, hands or feet (for example if your watch or rings suddenly don't fit)
  • feeling very unwell.

These symptoms are serious, and you should seek medical help immediately.

What is Tommy’s doing to help?

We need research to find out why pre-eclampsia happens, so we can work to prevent it. That’s why Tommy’s funds pioneering research into the causes of pre-eclampsia, and the best ways of finding and caring for women at risk.

We help fund several research projects, including:

More information  

Information and support on pre-eclampsia

Information about premature birth

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