Preeclampsia Awareness Month 2014

Friday, May 09, 2014

May is Preeclampsia Awareness Month

This month marks Preeclampsia Awareness Month. As a preeclampsia survivor, I'm here to tell you preeclampsia is not something to take lightly. *As a nationally recognized health observance, Preeclampsia Awareness Month presents the perfect opportunity for the Preeclampsia Foundation to offer education and events that will increase awareness of this life-threatening disorder of pregnancy, which occurs in up to eight percent of all pregnancies.

 What is Preeclampsia?

*Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period and affects both the mother and the unborn baby. Affecting at least 5-8% of all pregnancies, it is a rapidly progressive condition characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine. Swelling, sudden weight gain, headaches and changes in vision are important symptoms; however, some women with rapidly advancing disease report few symptoms. For additional information, download the Preeclampsia Fact Sheet at https://www.preeclampsia.org/images/pdf/preeclampsia_fact_sheet.pdf.

Know the Symptoms

*If you experience any of the following symptoms at any point during your pregnancy, call your doctor immediately. Having the following symptoms doesn't necessarily mean you have preeclampsia; however, it is cause for concern, and you should be checked out by your doctor as soon as possible.
  • Swelling of the hands and feet
  • Weight gain of more than five pounds in one week
  • Headache that won't go away
  • Changes in vision
  • Sudden nausea (especially near or after the mid-point of your pregnancy)
  • Upper right stomach pain
Remember to trust yourself. Some women may exhibit no symptoms, but feel a little off. Don't hesitate to contact your health provider. You know you're body and if something doesn't feel right, let them know.

Promise Walk for Preeclampsia

Throughout May, the Preeclampsia Foundation will be hosting several Promise Walks for Preeclampsia all across the country. There is even a virtual Promise Walk if one is not in your area. The purpose of the Promise Walk is to raise awareness concerning preeclampsia. For more information on a Promise Walk in your area, visit http://www.promisewalk.org.

Additional Information

If you or a loved one has suffered from preeclampsia, there are many resources available to you. I found comfort in talking with other women who had also experienced preeclampsia. There are numerous support groups, one being the Preeclampsia Foundation's Community Forum. There are also many blogs out there, as well as preeclampsia groups on sites such as BabyCenter and The Bump.

To stay on top of the latest research, visit https://www.preeclampsia.org/research. Here you can find the latest findings, as well as opportunities to participate in the latest clinical studies and trials. During my time in the hospital, I voluntarily participated in an on-going research study. I knew it may not help me now, but if something that happened to me could help save even one momma and baby, I was all for it.

If you're interested in my story, you can read all about here:

*Sources
  • Preeclampsia Awareness Month. (n.d.). Retrieved May 8, 2014, from https://www.preeclampsia.org/pream 
  • About Preeclampsia. (n.d.). Retrieved May 8, 2014, from https://www.preeclampsia.org/health-information/about-preeclampsia


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