For mild preeclampsia that is not rapidly
getting worse, you may only have to reduce your level of activity, monitor how
you feel, and have frequent office visits and testing.
Moderate to severe preeclampsia
For moderate or severe preeclampsia, or for preeclampsia
that is rapidly getting worse, you may need to go to the hospital for
expectant management. This typically includes bed rest,
medicine, and close monitoring of you and your baby.
Severe preeclampsia or an
eclamptic seizure is treated with
magnesium sulfate. This medicine can stop a seizure
and can prevent seizures. If you are near delivery or have severe preeclampsia,
your doctor will plan to deliver your baby as soon as possible.
your condition becomes life-threatening to you or your baby, the only treatment options are magnesium sulfate
to prevent seizures and delivering the baby.
If you are less
than 34 weeks pregnant and a 24- to 48-hour delay is possible, you will likely
antenatal corticosteroids to speed up the baby's lung
development before delivery.
delivery is usually safest for the mother. It is tried first if she and the
baby are both stable.
If preeclampsia is rapidly getting worse or fetal
monitoring suggests that the baby cannot safely handle labor contractions, a
cesarean section (C-section) delivery is
If you have moderate to severe
preeclampsia, your risk of seizures (eclampsia) continues for the first 24 to
48 hours after childbirth. (In very rare cases, seizures are reported later in
the postpartum period.) So you may continue
magnesium sulfate for 24 hours after delivery.1
Unless you have chronic high blood pressure,
your blood pressure is likely to return to normal a few days after delivery. In
rare cases, it can take 6 weeks or more. Some women still have high blood
pressure 6 weeks after childbirth yet return to normal levels over the long
If your blood pressure is still high after delivery, you may be given a blood pressure medicine. You will then have
regular checkups with your doctor.
After having preeclampsia, you have a higher-than-average risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. This may be because the same things that cause preeclampsia also cause heart and kidney disease.
To protect your health, work with your doctor on living a heart-healthy lifestyle and getting the checkups you need.