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Pre-Eclampsia: Expectant Management


Expectant management, or observation, is sometimes used to manage a high-risk pregnancy. You may need expectant management at home or in the hospital. Where you have it depends on how severe your pre-eclampsia is.

Expectant management at home

If you have signs of pre-eclampsia early in pregnancy, your doctor or midwife may prescribe expectant management at home. It might last for many weeks. Expectant management at home may require:

Reduced activity.

You may be advised to stop working or to reduce your activity level.

Expectant management might limit your ability to work, take care of children, and fulfill other responsibilities. You may need to ask for extra help.

Daily monitoring.

You may have to monitor your own condition each day. If so, you or another person (such as a trained family member or a visiting nurse) will:

  • Check your blood pressure.
  • Check your weight.
  • Monitor your baby's movements.

Keep a written record of your results, including the dates and times you checked.

Frequent prenatal visits.

You'll see your doctor or midwife more often (usually twice a week). Take your daily log of symptoms and measurements to these checkups.

Expectant management in the hospital

During expectant management in the hospital, you and your baby will have more frequent electronic monitoring and lab tests.


Current as of: November 9, 2022

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