Our office is honored to care for so many pregnant and postpartum women from around the Rochester, NY community. Although our specialty is the treatment of pregnancy and postpartum related neuromusculoskeletal conditions, we also speak with our patients about a number of different pregnancy and postpartum conditions.

Preeclampsia during pregnancy is something most women have heard about. They understand that as they get further into their pregnancy, their OB or midwife may be concerned about swelling, high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Unfortunately, many women are unfamiliar with postpartum preeclampsia.

Postpartum preeclampsia is rare, but occurs when a woman experiences high blood pressure and excess protein in her urine following childbirth. Most cases tend to develop within 48 hours, but some cases may develop up to six weeks following birth.

There is no exact cause of postpartum preeclampsia, but limited research has suggested the following risk factors: high blood pressure during your most recent pregnancy, obesity, carrying multiples, chronic high blood pressure and diabetes. You can also get postpartum preeclampsia without having a diagnosis of preeclampsia during pregnancy.

Symptoms of postpartum preeclampsia include: high blood pressure, excess protein in the urine, severe headaches, changes in vision, including temporary loss of vision, blurred vision or light sensitivity, right sided abdominal pain and decreased urination.

Learning the warning signs of postpartum preeclampsia are crucial, as complications include: postpartum eclampsia (postpartum preeclampsia + seizures), pulmonary edema, stroke, thromboembolism and HELLP syndrome (which can be life threatening).

Education during pregnancy is important because women may miss the warning signs during their early postpartum period due to sleep deprivation, postpartum depression, paying more attention to the newborn, and the overall lack of experience with the postpartum period.

Watch the wonderful video below for more information.