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



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


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Thomas M. Bailey, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer William Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine

Current as ofMay 22, 2015