What, Kelli?! POSTPARTUM Preecclampsia?! I thought that in your other posts you said this is commonly known as a condition in pregnancy and can be treated or cured by the woman giving birth. Well, yes. These things are true, but so is the chance of this taking place after birth.
To say that birth can "cure" the condition leads us to believe they we're in the clear and no longer after delivery. Unfortunately, 97% of maternal deaths related to preeclampsia happen in the postpartum period.
Thankfully, most women with preeclampsia will deliver healthy babies and fully recover from the condition in the weeks after birth. However, some women will experience serious and often, life threatening complications. A woman’s condition can progress to severe preeclampsia, eclampsia or HELLP syndrome quickly. Delivery (even if pre-term) is sometimes a necessary intervention, but once delivered, moms still need to receive care if she is experiencing high blood pressure and any related preeclampsia symptoms.
Hear that ladies? Remain vigilant after delivery.
97% of maternal deaths related to preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy occur within six weeks after giving birth meaning that the majority of deaths due to preeclampsia happen AFTER a baby is born, when new moms and dads are least expecting their story to turn tragic.
Delivery isn't always the cure for preeclampsia. Any woman can develop preeclampsia after her baby is born, whether she experienced high blood pressure during her pregnancy or not.
Insist that your healthcare provider monitors your health closely after birth, it could save your life.
Learn, memorize and recognize the following warning signs and seek medical attention immediately. If you can't reach your persona physician, midwife, etc. call 911 or get to your closest Emergency Department and let them know you've recently given birth and are experiencing some/all of these symptoms:
- Blood pressure higher than 140/90
- Changes in your vision
- Stomach pains
- Severe headache
- Persistent nausea and/or vomiting
- Swelling of the hands and/or feet
If you experience any of these symptoms, for sure call 911 or have someone get you to the Emergency Department right away:
- Blood pressure higher than 160/110
- Shortness of breath or overall difficulty breathing
- Seeing spots
Know the signs. Take action. Save a life, ladies. For more information and frequently asked questions about postpartum precclampsia, visit this page and scroll down a ways.