Pregnant women and their partners in Pennsylvania know that proper prenatal care is essential for both mothers and babies. While it might seem almost routine anymore to be pregnant and deliver a baby in part due to advances in health care and healthy lifestyles, the fact remains that many serious complications can still arise during pregnancy. Preeclampsia, formerly known as toxemia, is one of those conditions.

As explained by WebMD, left untreated, preeclampsia can not only proceed to full eclampsia but can have severe and even fatal implications for mothers and babies. The importance of early detection of this condition cannot be overstated. There is no true cure for preeclampsia other than to deliver a baby but there are ways to monitor the condition and, in some cases, allow a pregnancy to continue for longer giving the baby more time to develop before being born.

According to the Mayo Clinic, elevated blood pressure in women with no prior history of hypertension can be a primary symptom of preeclampsia. Two readings within a four-hour window with results greater than 140/90 are cause for concern.

Also often noticed is an increase in the level of protein in urine as well as potential damage of poor functioning of the kidneys or liver. Some women even experience visual disturbances, feel or get sick to their stomachs, have headaches or feel pain in below the ribcages mostly on the right sides of their bodies. When these symptoms present themselves, obstetricians should take note and further investigate the potential that preeclampsia exists.