It’s nearing the end of May, but that still gives us time to spread awareness about Preeclampsia. May is National Preeclampsia Awareness Month and ViaCord is helping the cause to educate women about this pregnancy disorder.
I remember the fear and uncertainty when I was diagnosed with preeclampsia. My doctors didn’t even really want to tell me the diagnosis. But all the signs were there. Fortunately for me, the disorder ended with the healthy birth of my daughter. It’s amazing that something we barely know about does cause 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths each year.
But with awareness, people will start talking and be more aware about their options and the symptoms to look for. Preeclampsia is a pregnancy and postpartum hypertensive disorder that impacts at least 5-8% of pregnant women each year (300,000 women in the US alone). Some of the systems are high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine. Both typically show up after 20 weeks pregnant and up to 6 weeks postpartum (which now makes sense how I had high blood pressure after birth for so long. That really puzzled my doctors for some reason).
The cause of preeclampsia is still not understood. But these symptoms could suggest preeclampsia: headaches, abdominal pain, visual disturbances (oversensitivity to light, blurred vision, seeing flashing spots or auras), swelling, and shortness of breath. I never had the headaches, ab pain or shortness of breath. I had swelling, high blood pressure and protein in my urine. I wish I knew then what I know now about this being a pretty serious condition.
ViaCord is providing a space to share your baby bump. Encourage others to share as well with #awarebecuaseicare. For every photo of a baby bump you share, ViaCord will donate $10 (up to $10,000) to the Preeclampsia Foundation.