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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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 05, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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