What education should be given to patients with hypertensive disorders during pregnancy?

Updated: Jun 12, 2018
  • Author: Michael P Carson, MD; Chief Editor: Edward H Springel, MD, FACOG  more...
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Most patients enter pregnancy with the expectation that their pregnancy and delivery will involve nothing but happiness. When severe complications occur, patients often feel scared, angry, and helpless. The best approach is to discuss all issues with patients. Take all possible steps to help the patient and her family understand the complications and treatment. Begin the discussion by providing the diagnosis and reassure the pregnant woman that, in most cases, the complications are not due to her actions or failure to act. Follow with discussion of plans for evaluation and treatment, providing her an opportunity to ask questions. Empower the patient by involving her in the decision-making process.

Patients ask very important questions. Physicians should feel comfortable being honest and telling patients and families when they do not have all of the answers. Physicians should let patients know that they will work to find the answers. This honesty and thoroughness solidifies the physician's reputation as a caring and competent doctor. Consultation with experienced clinicians helps the physician care for the patient and reassure her that all avenues of treatment are being explored.

Many reference texts and articles are available regarding the treatment of medical disorders during pregnancy. Becoming educated about these topics helps physicians feel more comfortable treating and counseling patients.

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