May is Preeclampsia Awareness Month

Tuesday, May 03, 2011
If you're reading this, then more than likely you know I am a preeclampsia survivor. This month marks preeclampsia awareness. As a survivor and someone who had the unfortunate experience of also suffering from HELLP syndrome, it's important to me to educate as many women as possible. Preeclampsia was not something that was even considered during my pregnancy, not even when I was first admitted to the hospital at 21 weeks.

Preeclampsia is very personal for me. It significantly altered my life. I say altered because it did more than just change my life. A year later and I still suffer from health complications due to preeclampsia. It's something I have to deal with everyday, and it took my daughter. It is not something to ever take lightly.

While we hear that most women experience pre-e towards the end of their pregnancies and are able to deliver safely, the fact is it is responsible for 76,000 maternal deaths and 500,000 infant deaths worldwide a year. That's every year! The numbers we are used to hearing here in the US are 5-8% of pregnancies are typically affected by preeclampsia. While this seems like a small number, that adds up to around 300,000. That's not a small number!

So what are the signs and symptoms to look for, you ask? That's a great question. Some of the most common symptoms include high blood pressure, edema (swelling), sudden weight gain, blurry vision, and headache, just to name a few. Check out the Preeclampsia Foundation for detailed information on signs and symptoms, as well as ways to help cure this disease.

**Statistics taken from Preeclampsia Foundation. You can donate to the foundation by clicking here.

1 comment

  1. It's so amazing to me how many woman don't know about preeclampsia/hellp when they become pregnant (myself included).

    I whole hearted agree with you, it completely alter's your life forever.

    Here's to hoping we find a way to diagnose,prevent,cure it in the near future.