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PREECLAMPSIA AWARENESS MONTH
May 1 @ 8:00 am - May 31 @ 5:00 pm EDT
Spread the Word in honor of May as Preeclampsia Awareness Month!
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 hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, which occurs in up to eight percent of all pregnancies.
The Preeclampsia Foundation’s theme for the 2016 Preeclampsia Awareness Month is: The Faces of Preeclampsia: Any Woman, Any Pregnancy. Millions of families are unexpectedly affected by preeclampsia each year. Together, we tell their stories and highlight the many impacts that preeclampsia can have on the whole family.
Are you a Face of Preeclampsia? Tell your story and share a photo on our story section this May!
For more educational resources about preeclampsia to share, check out the Preeclampsia Foundation YouTube channel.
Throughout May, the Preeclampsia Foundation is hosting the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia in 40 cities across the country as well as a virtual Promise Walk. Visit www.promisewalk.org for specific locations. Promise Walks range from walks to 5K runs and may also feature guest speakers, appearances by media personalities, free blood pressure screenings, silent auctions, raffles, family activities, and memorial events.
If you experience any of the following symptoms during your pregnancy or after delivery, call your doctor or midwife right away. Having symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have preeclampsia, but they are cause for concern and require medical evaluation. Signs of preeclampsia, which are often measured by your healthcare provider, include high blood pressure and sometimes protein in the urine.
- Swelling of the hands and face, especially around the eyes (swelling of the feet is more common in late pregnancy and probably not a sign of preeclampsia)
- Weight gain of more than five pounds in a week
- Headache that won’t go away, even after taking medication such as acetaminophen
- Changes in vision like seeing spots or flashing lights; partial or total loss of eyesight
- Nausea or throwing up, especially suddenly, after mid pregnancy (not the morning sickness that many women experience in early pregnancy)
- Upper right belly pain, sometimes mistaken for indigestion or the flu
- Difficulty breathing, gasping, or panting
It’s also important to know that some women with preeclampsia have NO symptoms or they “just don’t feel right.” If you have a sense that something’s wrong, even without symptoms, trust yourself and contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Heather’s Story (Download Print PSA)
Research efforts this past decade have produced exciting breakthroughs that may bring us closer to finding the cause of preeclampsia, help us improve diagnosis and prediction, and may lead to prevention and new treatments. But research needs far more support and funding if we hope to find the true cause of preeclampsia, as well as a way to prevent or cure it.
Part of The Preeclampsia Foundation’s mission is to catalyze and accelerate research. Through small research funding of Vision Grants, participating in trials, collaborating with investigators, and building the world’s only patient Registry, we hope to help research progress on hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.
Debbie’s Story (Download Print PSA)
Women who have had preeclampsia have three to four times the risk of high blood pressure and double the risk for heart disease and stroke. They also have an increased risk of developing diabetes.
While still unknown whether the risk is caused by preeclampsia or if the woman was already predisposed, these risks first emerge in the years following a complicated pregnancy. Although this may seem daunting, ample research shows that there are many ways for women to protect their heart health and that of their families!
Tia’s Story (Download Print PSA)
Research suggests that women who have experience a traumatic pregnancy such as preeclampsia have four to ten times the risk of screening positive for post-traumatic stress disorder and are at an increased risk for postpartum depression and anxiety.
For patients who have experienced seizures, liver failure, premature delivery, the loss of their baby, or a sudden turn of bad health caused by hypertension during pregnancy, it might seem obvious that women are left feeling depressed, scared and lonely. It is important that these voices are heard and that their experiences are understood to help other patients through their own traumatic pregnancy experience.