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How does preeclampsia cause birth injury to mother and baby?

Pregnancy can be a delicate time for both mother and fetus. Though many women make it through pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby, with no serious complications for either one of them, often health risks do arise.

There are many pregnancy-related complications, but one of the most common, and potentially serious, is preeclampsia. This is a disorder that affects at least 5 to 8 percent of women during pregnancy and during the postpartum period. It used to be known as Pregnancy Induced Hypertension and toxemia. Variations of preeclampsia include HELLP syndrome and eclampsia, which causes seizures.

If untreated, preeclampsia can result in the death of both the mother and her infant. An estimated 500,000 infants are killed by preeclampsia each year, along with 76,000 pregnant women or new mothers.

This disorder causes high blood pressure and protein in the mother’s urine. Other possible symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Headaches
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Changes in vision

It is important to note that some women with preeclampsia have few symptoms. This makes attentive prenatal care by the physician all the more important, to ensure that, if the woman develops preeclampsia, the condition is managed so that it does not result in death.

Pregnancy and birth are supposed to be a joyous time in life, when the mother is bringing a new life into the world. But if the OB-GYN or other doctor provides substandard care, the result can be tragedy. A physician who negligently allows a woman or her child to die when it could have been prevented should be held responsible for their conduct.

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