What is Preeclampsia?
A condition of pregnancy or the postpartum period involving numerous body systems. One of its hallmark symptoms is elevated blood pressure (140/90) or greater. Other factors include fluid in the lungs, protein in the urine, low platelets, severe headaches, blurred vision, and right sided stomach pain. In addition to elevated blood pressure, only one of the other symptoms mentioned is necessary for a diagnosis of preeclampsia. In severe cases preeclampsia can cause seizures, HELLP syndrome, stroke, brain bleeds, and involvement of the liver and kidneys. Preeclampsia is a serious condition and requires careful monitoring.
Black women are especially at risk to the development and serious consequences of preeclampsia.
Who is at risk?
Risk factors for developing preeclampsia include:
- Previous history of preeclampsia
- First pregnancy/new partner
- IVF or otherwise artificial pregnancy
- Multiple pregnancies
- Gestational diabetes
- Pre Existing preeclampsia
- Preexisting HTN – a history of high blood pressure
- Hx of renal disease
- Over age 40
- Low socioeconomic status (WIC, SNAP)
- Family history of preeclampsia
- Periodontal disease
How do we manage the risk?
Our program is designed to reduce the complications for Black and Brown mamas in New Jersey associated with preeclampsia. We provide blood pressure cuffs, education on warning signs, and at home support provided by a health professional. Women should THRIVE during pregnancy.