Pre-eclampsia is common, affecting between 2 and 8 in 100 women during pregnancy. It is usually mild and normally has very little effect on pregnancy. However it is important to know if you have the condition because in a small number of cases it can develop into a more serious illness. Severe pre-eclampsia can be life-threatening for both mother and baby.
Around 1 in 200 women (0.5%) develop severe pre-eclampsia. The symptoms tend to occur later on in pregnancy but can occur for the first time after birth.
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