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How is pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) treated?

Bed rest is the first recommendation for pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH). If your blood pressure stays high and you have elevated protein levels in your urine, the doctor may choose to admit you to the hospital to more closely watch your symptoms. Medications to lower your blood pressure may be used. If the PIH is worsening, your doctor will treat you with magnesium sulfate to prevent complications of PIH. Delivery of the baby would also be considered. The symptoms of PIH begin to go away after the delivery of the baby.

PIH or pregnancy induced hypertension is initially treated with bed rest in a left side-lying position. Lying on the left side displaces the pressure of the enlarged uterus from the inferior vena cava thereby increasing blood return to the right side of the heart, perfusion to the kidneys and excretion of excessive fluid. While on bed rest the health care team will monitor the woman’s blood pressure, weight gain, urine protein levels and presence of edema. These are indicator of whether the PIH is improving or getting worse. If the condition worsens, the woman may be admitted to the hospital and started on an infusion of Magnesium sulfate. The delivery of the fetus would also be considered as part of the treatment plan as the only known cure for PIH is to deliver the fetus.

Treatment options for pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) usually involve a lot of measures that you can perform at home in the hopes of slowing the progression of this condition. These treatments include a lot of rest. You can rest best when you lay on your left side so that you are not putting your weight on major blood vessels. Your doctor will probably also recommend that you eat less salt and salty products and that you drink enough fluids - at least 8 cups of water each day. Also, try to avoid fattening and salty foods throughout pregnancy to foster the health of your child.

However, if your hypertension is advanced, your doctor may recommend that you take some medication to lower your blood pressure. More than anything else, your doctor will probably insist upon regular checkups and appointments to monitor yours and your child's health. If the condition is past the point of treatment, your doctor may have to perform an emergency delivery.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.