Pre-eclampsia puts a pregnant mother at risk for seizures, abruptio placenta, stroke and even severe bleeding. Regular visits to the doctor are important to evaluate the status of the pregnancy as it progresses. Medications and other laboratory tests are also taken to ensure the safety of the mother and the baby.
- Medication for high blood pressure are prescribed
These medications are intended to lower the blood pressure if it gets abnormally high. The most usual medications given are methyldopa, nifedipine and labetalol. These medicines can help prevent possible complications in the future. There are given in a dosage that is guaranteed safe for the baby.
- Corticosteroids are given
Corticosteroids are given to patients with severe pre-eclampsia and they can temporarily improve the liver and platelet function which allows the mother to keep the pregnancy a bit longer. Corticosteroids can also help hasten the maturity of the fetal lungs to better survive outside the womb.
- Anticonvulsants may be given
Anticonvulsants are given to patients who have severe pre-eclampsia. This is to prevent seizure from happening. An example of this is magnesium sulfate.
- Possible hospitalization
Getting admitted in a hospital would make it convenient for your doctor to monitor you regularly. Treatment with intravenous medications that prevent hypertension would greatly help in preventing a rise in your blood pressure and takes the risk of a possible seizure out of your worries. The well-being of your baby will also be monitored closely through ultrasound, heart rate monitoring and even amniotic fluid testing.
- Bed rest is suggested
Bed rest is important to help keep the blood pressure down and to increase the blood flow to the placenta. This is to ensure that your baby gets enough oxygen and blood supply too. The patient should comply with this to avoid possible complications that will not only affect the mother, but the baby as well.
- Delivery of the baby
Delivery of the baby is the most effective of all these treatments. Delivery of the baby at 34 weeks of gestation is permitted and that means a premature birth for the baby. If the pregnancy is below that timeline, the doctor may prescribe the mother to take corticosteroids to help the fetal lungs to mature faster. There might be risks involving a preterm birth, but it is usually outweighed by the benefits of an early delivery. This is done, so that no further harm may come to the mother and more importantly, to the baby.
Pre-eclampsia usually resolves six weeks after birth with continuous medications. Other complications may also arise after giving birth, so staying in the hospital is crucial at this time. Blood pressure is kept closely monitored by the hospital staff to check the condition for any progress. It is also important that a follow-up check-up with the doctor is made six to eight weeks after delivery.