If you've recently given birth and have any signs or symptoms of postpartum preeclampsia, contact your health care provider right away. Depending on the circumstances, you might need immediate medical care.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, as well as what to expect from your health care provider.
What you can do
Before your appointment, you might want to:
- Ask about pre-appointment restrictions. In most cases you'll be seen immediately. If that's not the case, ask whether you should restrict your activities while you wait for your appointment.
- Find a loved one or friend who can join you for your appointment. Fear and anxiety might make it difficult to focus on what your health care provider says. Take someone along who can help remember all the information.
- Write down questions to ask your health care provider. That way, you won't forget anything important that you want to ask, and you can make the most of your time with your health care provider.
Below are some basic questions to ask your health care provider about postpartum preeclampsia.
- How serious is my condition?
- What are the treatment options?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- Can I continue to do my usual activities?
- How can I best manage other health conditions along with postpartum preeclampsia?
- What signs or symptoms should prompt me to call you or go to the hospital?
In addition to the questions you've prepared, don't hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment — especially if you need clarification or you don't understand something.
What to expect from your doctor
Your health care provider is likely to ask you a number of questions, too. For example:
Apr. 26, 2012
- Have you had any unusual symptoms lately, such as blurred vision or headaches?
- When did you first notice your signs or symptoms?
- Do you normally have high blood pressure?
- Did you experience preeclampsia or postpartum preeclampsia with any previous pregnancies?
- Have you had any other complications during a previous pregnancy?
- Do you have any other health conditions?
- Al-Safi Z, et al. Delayed postpartum preeclampsia and eclampsia. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2011;118:1102.
- Delayed postpartum preeclampsia: An experience of 151 cases. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2004;190:1464.
- Yancey LM, et al. Postpartum preeclampsia: Emergency department presentation and management. The Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2011;40:380.
- Andrus SS, et al. Postpartum preeclampsia occurring after resolution of antepartum preeclampsia. The Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2010;38:168.
- Ascarelli MH, et al. Postpartum preeclampsia management with furosemide: A randomized clinical trial. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2005;105:29.
- Sibai BM, et al. Diagnosis and management of atypical preeclampsia-eclampsia. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2009;200:481.e1.
- Berens P. Overview of postpartum care. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 1, 2012.
- Gabbe SG, et al. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1528/0.html. Accessed March 2, 2012.
- Your guide to breastfeeding. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/breastfeeding-guide. Accessed Feb. 24, 2012.
- Norwitz ER, et al. Preeclampsia: Management and prognosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index. Accessed March 5, 2012.
- Pregnancy: Your guide to lowering high blood pressure. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/hbp/issues/preg/preg.htm. Accessed March 5, 2012.
- August P, et al. Clinical features and diagnosis of preeclampsia. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 5, 2012.
- Steegers EA, et al. Pre-eclampsia. The Lancet. 2010;376:631.
- Sibai B. HELLP syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 5, 2012.
- Norwitz ER. Eclampsia. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 5, 2012.
- Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: W.B. Saunders; 2011. http://dorlands.com/index.jsp. Accessed March 5, 2012.
- Larsen WI, et al. Risk factors for late postpartum preeclampsia. Journal of Reproductive Medicine. 2012;57:35.
- Harms RW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 7, 2012.
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