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Pre-Eclampsia: 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 pre-eclampsia, 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 bedrest). Although partial bedrest is considered reasonable treatment for pre-eclampsia, its effectiveness is not proved for treating mild pre-eclampsia.footnote 1 It is known that strict bedrest may raise your risk of developing a blood clot in the legs or lungs.

Expectant management in the hospital requires some bedrest 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

Current as of: February 11, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Thomas M. Bailey MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
William Gilbert MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine

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