Oxford Women's Health
Toxaemia of Pregnancy (pre-eclampsia)
Toxaemia of pregnancy or pre-eclampsia is a condition that occurs in some women during the second half of pregnancy. It is characterised by high blood pressure, swelling that doesn't go away and large amounts of protein in the urine. If left untreated it can stop the placenta, which provides nourishment to the baby, from getting enough blood and thus slows the baby’s growth. The condition can also be dangerous for the mother. In the early stages, simple measures such as bed rest may control the symptoms but, if not, it may be necessary to deliver the baby a week or two early.