Albumin is a protein which if found in the urine of a pregnant woman can be a sign of pre-eclampsia.

During pregnancy, the kidneys may be working more, which is one of the reasons for having small amounts of this protein in the urine. This is quite common in pregnancy.

Testing for protein in urine, otherwise known as proteinuria, is part of the routine tests that occur during prenatal appointments. If protein is present in the urine, the mother may be asked to take further tests to ensure all is safe. Generally, proteinuria can be of concern if it is a result of one of the following:

Her body is fighting a minor infection such as urinary tract infection (UTI). If she has a UTI, her doctor will prescribe an antibiotic that is safe to take in pregnancy.

If it happens in the second half of her pregnancy, it may be a sign of pre-eclampsia, a potentially serious condition. This is especially true if she also has high blood pressure. If this occurs, her doctor may ask her to take a blood test to check her blood count, clotting, kidney and liver function. If her blood test shows any major concerns, she might need further monitoring.