If you have
preeclampsia, you will need regular exams to assess
whether your condition is becoming more severe. Your exams may include:
Measurement of your
blood pressure while lying down on your left side, standing up, or sitting in a chair.
Measurement of your weight to check for sudden
weight gain (a sign of fluid retention caused by preeclampsia getting
An assessment of your heart and lung function with a
A check for increased reflexes.
for abdominal pain, especially in the upper right area where the liver is
An assessment of your fetus. This is done by:
Monitoring fetal heart
Checking fetal growth by measuring the distance between the
base and top of your uterus (fundal height).
Follow-up blood and urine tests.
Questions to determine whether you are alert, such as asking you to
state the current time, date, and place.
Checking for signs of
vision problems. You may be asked to read and may have your eyes
With frequent physical exams, your doctor or
nurse-midwife can closely monitor your condition. Noticing small but important
changes makes it possible to catch complications in their early stages and to
assess how rapidly they are progressing.
Laboratory tests are
also important for monitoring preeclampsia. Often changes in the blood and
urine occur before you start to notice physical symptoms of severe