Preeclampsia is a condition affecting 5 percent of all pregnant women. If left untreated, preeclampsia can be dangerous for both the woman and her baby.

If you've been diagnosed with preeclampsia, it’s important to understand the many misconceptions about the condition and focus on what you need to know.

Myth: Preeclampsia happens only late in pregnancy.

Reality: Preeclampsia typically happens late in pregnancy, around 34 weeks, or 48 hours after delivery. But on rare occasions, it can begin as early as 20 weeks. It's important that you and your OB-GYN keep an eye out for the symptoms of preeclampsia throughout your pregnancy.

The symptoms of preeclampsia include high blood pressure, protein in urine, swelling of hands, feet and legs, weight gain over the course of one to two days, stomach pain, headaches, urinating less, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, and changes in vision.

Some women develop preeclampsia without showing any symptoms, so it’s important to schedule regular prenatal appointments and have your doctor