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Can pre-eclampsia improve?(42 Posts)
Just wondering whether indicators such as blood pressure and protein levels can improve rather than just get worse up to delivery?
Just been diagnosed at 28 weeks - they want to keep me in until delivery (who knows when that will be). On maximum dose of methyldopa now and this has helped BP but protein still high.
Is it possible that tests could improve at least enough for me to go home at some point over the next few weeks? It feels like a prison sentence
I don't believe so - generally the only cure is delivery of the baby. Can you discuss with your doctor?
I get that a treatment plan like that for so long is very tough on you. But pre-e can be seriously dangerous so it is great that they have identified it early on and I hope all works out well for you.
They may well allow you home, perhaps in bedrest, but i think that is a question to discuss with your doctor. Best wishes.
In short, no.
Pre eclampsia is extremely unpredictable. They can control blood pressure to an extent but still unlikely to let you go home. Protein levels do not predict severity of pre-e or if it is getting worse etc, just assist diagnosis.
I was diagnosed just before 27 weeks, and told I had days but didn't deliver until 30 weeks.
I know it's a huge shock, and you want to go home, but if possible use this time in hospital to plan. Hospital is going to be a familiar place for a few months now. If you give birth soon, your baby will likely be in special care for a month or two - I'm sure they have gone through it all with you.
I was so shocked at diagnosis, I hadn't even bought a pram or thought about how I wanted to feed baby etc. You'll have to make these decisions on a much shorter time scale now.
When I was told at 27 week "you'll be here until delivery", I though OMG 13 weeks in hospital. It took a while for the penny to drop that they baby would be here long before that.
How are you feeling about it all?
You poor thing. Forget about going home, start planning on how to survive in there.
Sorry lovely, no it won't, I was in for 6 weeks in total. Put your practical head on and start planning on baby coming sooner rather than later , best of luck
Can I offer a piece of advice I wish someone had offered me, 14 years ago when I was in your position.
Ask your dr not only what they are planning, but what will happen if things change between now and that date. What is the plan if your pre-eclampsia worsens. Go and have a look around where your baby will be, if it is delivered early (NICU/SCBU or whatever it is called where you are) - you will have to ask permission, probably via the midwives, but hopefully it will not be a problem. Prepare yourself for what may happen, even though there is a chance it may not. I know I didn't, and I wish I had, it may have made a difficult week that little bit easier, although saying that, another lady in at the same time of me had no need of the knowledge as she held on and delivered per the dr's plan.
However, almost 15 years later I have a ds who you would never know had an early than planned delivery, and it really is all a distant memory.
All the best
As mentioned above no it generally won't improve, the only cure is delivery (most of the time, sometime it doesn't stop it). They may stabilise your bp but unless you live extremely close to the hospital they might not let you home, unless it's just for a few hours. I can see my house from the hospital and wasn't allowed home because they couldn't get my bp under control, I was 36 weeks.
Good advice above to familarise yourself with scbu/nicu and get as much information about plans, emcs, induction, breastfeeding/tubefeeding etc as you can during this time. Hospital is the best place for you if that's what they are recommending. I was told I'd be in for 3 weeks and that seemed awful, it must be very difficult to hear you're staying so early.
No I'm sorry. I had it at 28 weeks and was kept in. I had my daughter at 31 weeks. She's 9 now. I remember how horrible it was being stuck in hospital you have my sympathies.
I remember what really annoyed me was a midwife who kept saying oh they will let you go home soon when they had no intention of doing so! Had 4 hourly checks so did make it home for 1 afternoon on between checks.
Govan yes I agree I remember thinking how I didn't want to be in hospital for 12 weeks. I hadn't clicked or accepted that I would be having a premature baby.
I was in and out from 26 weeks until 32 when ds was delivered.
Do what Another suggested, I wish I had
Ds is now 15 and 6ft 2 and strong as an ox
Best of luck x
I wish someone had said to me that yes you will have your baby early and it will break your heart but they will come home and they will be ok. I know there are no guarantees but when she was in special care I thought it would just last forever even though I knew of course it wouldn't.
I had previously enclampsia on all3 of mine, some days will be better than others but it won't go away, unless things have changed it doesn't mean that you will have the baby early, I was induced 4 days early with my first an I went over by 10 days with my other two, one in labour naturally and one induced
Goose - I assume you had pre-eclampsia late in your pregnancy? I've never heard of someone having early onset pre-eclampsia going to term.
It is standard to deliver at 34 weeks gestation if the woman has early onset pre-e but hasn't required delivery already, because it is safer at that point for the baby to be out than to risk both mother and baby's life by continuing with an unpredictable pre-eclamptic pregnancy.
Agreed. The OP will be staying in and will be having her baby early. Hope you are ok OP.
Thanks all. So much to get my head around, and all sorts of feelings like last bit of time alone with DH at home to do nice dinners out etc is gone!
Nor can I really imagine staying in for that long, but as so many of you say, I should prepare for a preterm baby...
I know it's for the best but it all feels a bit overwhelming and lonely right now.
Ps for all you ladies in the know, will they keep repeating the urine tests (including 24 hour collection) and bloods? Or will I be able to at lease try and relax?!
They will keep repeating the tests yes not sure how frequently. Hugs for you I remember that feeling. All those last things to do as a couple and getting baby's room ready. People who haven't been through don't realise how upsetting it is. Here for you. Please feel free to pm me xxx
Try and see if you can go to scbu and see what it's like if you can. Where in the country are you?
Regular bloods and scans, yes.
If you are sick of 24 hour urine collections get your partner to print out the nice guidelines on pre-eclampsia which indicate that it isn't recommended practice to repeat the 24 hr collections (although most doctors seem to think it is).
I had it from later on in my pregnancy. I was allowed to go home on bedrest and put on a no salt diet. It was awful but I went to 39 weeks.
The drugs they give you for it make you go loopy. If they just started today just expect some weird stuff to start happening. I thought I had PND after I had DD but it was the drugs they had given me for the preeclampsia.
Also after the preeclampsia drugs can stop your milk coming in. I didn't know that and tried in vain to feed DD. My boobs had nada.
I had no side effects from the bp meds and am still feeding my son 20 months later, just to give the opposite side to the last poster's experience, it's all very individual. They were only going to do weekly 24hr urine collection with me but he was born 6 days after I was admitted. He was in scbu for 5 days (originally admitted there only because I was in special care myself), establishing breastfeeding was tough because I wasn't well enough to visit for every feed so had to express. My milk came in on day 3 having "met" & latched him on on day 2, he got 1ml of colostrum on day 1.
Get some hobbies to keep you sane, knitting, colouring books, etc, do online ordering of any other baby stuff you need. Join a few pre e support groups on fb. If it helps I had planned my last month of pregnancy to do all the last things with my husband like meals out etc but tbh within a few months we'd forgotten about that and it didn't bother us. And he's over 1.5 years old now and still in our room so it definitely didn't matter that his room wasn't ready!
The drugs they give you for it make you go loopy. If they just started today just expect some weird stuff to start happening. I thought I had PND after I had DD but it was the drugs they had given me for the preeclampsia
Yes that was my experience too. Not meaning to scare you, just be prepared.
Another voice coming on to say that the blood pressure meds sent me a bit loopy too and I also failed to breastfeed (I tried and tried, but there was just very little milk there). I was admitted at 28weeks with PE and ending up giving birth a week later as complications set in, despite the hospital filling me with drugs.
However, although I hated being an inpatient myself, I had a very good experience of NICU. The doctors and nurses there are used to parents being shell shocked and go to great lengths to explain everything to you and to get you involved in your baby's care as soon as you are well enough. Good luck - you will be fine.
I wanted to add my experience and support OP, what a terrifying and emotional time for you.
As with the above posters, my anti-hypotentive drugs made me feel utterly awful, both physically and mentally, but I was able to breastfeed well (despite some hurdles caused by the drugs including 5 months of Reynold's Syndrome). DD was breastfed for 15 months, and while she was in SCUBU I was able to express for her. There is hope.
I love the advice of visiting the SCUBU/NICU - it was such a horrible, horrible shock for me (thinking about my first visit to DD still makes me cry) - hopefully a little trip around might make it easier on you. The midwives there were some of loveliest most compassionate people I've ever met. They became my friends during our stay.
Also ask if you can book a private room for yourself after delivery - I was immediately put into a busy post-labour ward after EMCS delivery (had not met DD at this point) with all the 'normal' deliveries while my heart broke. A private room would have given me the chance to cry, which you will need.
Ask as many questions as you can. I didn't, and I think many of the doctors and nurses were too busy to realise I just needed someone to sit me down and just talk to me - I didn't actually realise until a week after I had been formally diagnosed that I had PE - no one explained it to me and looking back, in fear I just didn't ask.
You've got a tough road ahead OP but know you have plenty of support on MN. So many of us have felt the bewilderment and shock you are feeling right now.
All the best, keep your chin up
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