May is Pre-eclampsia Awareness Month

Signs, symptoms and resources pertaining to pre-eclampsia
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Originally posted on October 27, 2016


During May, we want you to learn more about pre-eclampsia, the signs and how to manage the condition through the story of Sherry.

When Sherry learned she was pregnant, she was excited about the upcoming birth of her new baby.

In addition to making sure the baby would have everything it would need, Sherry also needed to focus on her health. Her blood pressure had always been a little high and she had a family history of hypertension. Her doctor told her she was at risk for a condition in pregnancy called Pre-eclampsia. Sherry would need to be diligent about monitoring her blood pressure, sodium intake and stress levels.

Pre-eclampsia is a serious condition affecting pregnant women most likely, but not always, after 37 weeks. It causes blood vessels to constrict, resulting in high blood pressure and reduced blood flow that can affect organs in the body, including the liver, kidneys and brain. If not properly monitored and treated, pre-eclampsia can have a serious impact on the life and health of mom and baby.

Sherry is working closely with her prenatal care provider to manage her high blood pressure. She has reduced the amount of salt she uses in her food, regularly checks her blood pressure and always finds quiet time to relax. As she enters her third trimester, she is going to more prenatal visits where her health care providers are monitoring her and the baby closely. In just a few short weeks, Sherry will deliver a healthy baby.

It is important that if you have a chronic condition like hypertension and you are pregnant that you take extra care of yourself and talk openly and honestly with your health care providers about any questions or concerns you may have. There are plenty of resources available online to help you get the conversation started. For more information about pre-eclampsia and the other three leading causes of maternal deaths, visit