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Preeclampsia: Expectant Management

Topic Overview

Expectant management, or observation, is sometimes used to manage complications of a high-risk pregnancy. Depending on the severity of your preeclampsia, you may need expectant management at home or in the hospital.

Expectant management at home requires reduced activity and careful checking and daily recording of:

  • Fetal activity.
  • Blood pressure reading.
  • Urine protein measurement.
  • Weight.

The daily log of symptoms and measurements is combined with frequent (usually twice weekly) checks at the doctor's office.

Being on expectant management may mean you are advised to stop working, reduce your activity level, or possibly spend a lot of time resting (partial bed rest). Although partial bed rest is considered reasonable treatment for preeclampsia, its effectiveness is not proved for treating mild preeclampsia.1 It is known that strict bed rest may raise your risk of developing a blood clot in the legs or lungs.

Expectant management in the hospital requires some bed rest and includes more frequent electronic and laboratory monitoring of the mother and fetus.

Related Information

References

Citations

  1. Sibai BM (2003). Diagnosis and management of gestational hypertension and preeclampsia. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 102(1): 191–192.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer William Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine
Last Revised November 5, 2012

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