Preeclampsia is high blood pressure and protein in the urine after the 20th week of pregnancy.
If you are past 37 weeks, and your blood pressure is moderately elevated, your health care provider will likely advise you to deliver early. This may involve getting medicines to start (induce) labor or having a cesarean-section (C-section).
If you are fewer than 37 weeks pregnant, the goal is to prolong your pregnancy as long as it is safe. Doing so allows your baby to develop longer inside of you.
When you are at home, your doctor will likely ask you to be on bed rest.
Most of the time, you will need to remain lying on your side except when you use the bathroom. Ask your health care provider if you can sit up or move around other times.
Your health care provider will tell you how much fluid to drink every day and what other changes you may need to make in your diet. You may need to limit your salt intake.
You may need to take medicines to lower your blood pressure.
Often, women who have preeclampsia do not feel sick or have any symptoms. Still, both you and your baby may be in danger. You need to stay on bed rest to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible. You may be uncomfortable and feel stressed, but bed rest will get easier to cope with as you get used to it.
While you are home, your health care provider may ask you to:
Your health care provider will teach you how to do these things.
You will need frequent doctor visits to make sure you and your baby are doing well. You will likely have:
Call your health care provider right away if you:
Toxemia - self-care; PIH - self-care; Pregnancy-induced hypertension - self-care
Sibai BM. Hypertension. In: Gabbe SG, Niebyl JR, Simpson JL, et al, eds. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 35.
Updated by: Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Bellevue, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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