Treatments of Preeclampsia

Essential to the diagnosis and treatment of preeclampsia, is proper prenatal care. Make sure you:

  • Never miss your appointments with your doctor
  • Keep a check on your weight gain / loss
  • Monitor your blood pressure. If you suffer from hypertension, it may be worthwhile to buy a blood pressure monitor that you can use at home. Keep a log of your daily readings and share these with your health care provider
  • Test your urine for protein if you fall in the high-risk category for preeclampsia or suffer from any other symptoms of the condition
  • Have a healthy balanced prenatal diet full of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Do not try to diet or lose weight during your pregnancy as this can pose a risk to the baby’s health and development
  • Eliminate alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine
  • Avoid refined sugars, excessive salt, and processed foods
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Exercise regularly
  • Check with your doctor before starting any new regime or medical treatment. Inform your doctor about all your regular medication (not connected with the pregnancy)
  • Trust your instincts at times when you feel that something is ‘not right’ and speak to your doctor if you feel this way.

If you are diagnosed with preeclampsia, the following may be recommended:

  • Avoid sleeping flat on your back as this can put extra pressure on the kidneys and increase swelling
  • If the blood pressure continues to rise, hospitalization may be necessary
  • Ultrasound scans are needed to monitor your baby’s growth and determine any signs of distress
  • Magnesium sulphate injections may be prescribed as studies indicate that these can halve the risks of preeclampsia
  • Medications to lower blood pressure until your delivery may also be prescribed
  • If preeclampsia is severe or HELLP syndrome is developing, corticosteroids can improve liver functioning and strengthen the baby’s lungs
  • Anticonvulsive medications are required if preeclampsia is severe or you have experienced seizures
  • If the symptoms of preeclampsia cannot be controlled, the only way to cure the condition is to deliver the baby by caesarean section. If you baby is over 37 weeks, labor may be induced or you may need surgery.
  • For babies less than 37 weeks and not yet fully developed, home treatment and rest is often recommended.
  • Once your baby is delivered, the symptoms of preeclampsia tend to disappear on its own. Blood pressure may need to be monitored for a few more weeks. 


Frequently asked questions
  1. Trends in Fetal and Infant Survival Following Preeclampsia, Olga Basso, Svein Rasmussen, Clarice R. Weinberg, Allen J. Wilcox, Lorentz M. Irgens, Rolv Skjaerven; JAMA. 2006;296(11):1357-1362.doi:10.1001/jama.296.11.1357
  2. Barrier Contraceptive Methods and Preeclampsia, James L. Mills, Mark A. Klebanoff, Barry I. I. Graubard, J. Christopher Carey, Heinz W. Berendes; JAMA. 1991;265(1):70-73.doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460010070033