From around the 20th week of pregnancy one of the big health risks for mums-to-be is that of pre-eclampsia. Whilst the cause is not completely understood, it is thought that pre-eclampsia is thought to be caused by the placenta not developing properly due to a problem with the blood vessels supplying it.
Early signs of pre-eclampsia include high blood pressure (hypertension) and protein in your urine (proteinuria) which is why these are checked at your routine antenatal appointments by your midwife.
Although many cases are mild, the condition can lead to serious complications for both mother and baby if it’s not monitored and treated (see below). The earlier pre-eclampsia is diagnosed and monitored, the better the outlook for mother and baby.