Preeclampsia will probably be diagnosed during a routine prenatal exam. After that, you'll likely have additional visits with your obstetrician.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
To prepare for your appointment:
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, even if you think they're normal pregnancy symptoms.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements that you're taking.
- Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember all of the information provided during your appointment.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor, listing them in order of importance in case time runs out.
For preeclampsia, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- Has the condition affected my baby?
- Is it safe to continue the pregnancy?
- What are the signs I need to look out for, and when should I call you?
- How often do you need to see me? How will you monitor my baby's health?
- What treatments are available, and which do you recommend for me?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
- Do I need to follow any activity restrictions?
- Will I need a C-section?
- Do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can have? What websites do you recommend?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared, don't hesitate to ask questions that occur to you during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Questions your doctor may ask include:
July 03, 2014
- Is this your first pregnancy or your first pregnancy with this baby's father?
- Have you had any unusual symptoms lately, such as blurred vision or headaches?
- Do you ever feel pain in your upper abdomen that seems unrelated to your baby's movements?
- Have you had high blood pressure in the past?
- Did you experience preeclampsia with any previous pregnancies?
- Have you had complications during a previous pregnancy?
- What other health conditions are you dealing with?
- Hypertension in pregnancy. Washington, D.C.: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. 2013. http://www.acog.org/Resources_And_Publications/Task_Force_and_Work_Group_Reports/Hypertension_in_Pregnancy. Accessed Dec. 12, 2013.
- August P, et al. Preeclampsia: Clinical features and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 16, 2013.
- Vest AR, et al. Hypertension in pregnancy. Cardiology Clinics. 2012;30:407.
- Karumanchi SA, et al. Pathogenesis of preeclampsia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 17, 2013.
- Kim YJ. Pathogenesis and promising non-invasive markers for preeclampsia. Obstetrics and Gynecology Science. 2013;56:2.
- Deak TM, et al. Hypertension and pregnancy. Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America. 2012;30:903.
- Norwitz ER, et al. Preeclampsia: Management and prognosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 16, 2013.
- Bushnell C, et al. Guidelines for the prevention of stroke in women: A statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. In press. Accessed Feb. 10, 2014.