Posted in Research on April 29, 2013 by Website
A team lead by Dr. Anne Monique Nuyt, a neonatal specialist and researcher at the Sainte-Justine Mother and Child University Hospital Center and University of Montreal, reported in the September 2012 Canadian Medical Association Journal that women who were born prematurely are more likely to have pregnancy complications than women who weren't. Their study is the first to clearly show the impact of preterm birth (i.e., before 37 weeks of gestation) itself on pregnancy risks. They examined the data from all women born preterm between 1976 and 1995 and who had delivered at least one infant between 1987 and 2008.
"We took all women born preterm and selected twice as many 'at-term' women as representative controls for this study," Nuyt explained. There were 7,405 women in the born preterm group ...
Posted in Volunteer Happenings on April 29, 2013 by Website
Many words come to mind when describing a volunteer: devoted, inspiring, passionate. But those words feel pale and generic when faced with the deep motivation and strength that makes up the members of the Preeclampsia Foundation's volunteer core.
Volunteers come to our foundation for many different reasons: mourning the loss of a loved one. Mourning the loss of that "perfect" pregnancy experience. Celebrating their gratitude in having a new life. Honoring a loved one's experience which they can only hope to never personally understand. But they stay for one overwhelming reason. It is their desire that no woman and no family should feel as alone, insecure and frightened as one does when faced with an overwhelming health crisis like preeclampsia, ...
As we begin the first official National Preeclampsia Awareness Month, as finally designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, we are enormously grateful to numerous organizations, companies and individuals that are partnering with us in this month-long campaign to educate, inform and inspire. Together we are committed to spreading important information: the symptoms and impact of this life-threatening complication of pregnancy, as well as the critical need for more research and professional education to turn the tide on disastrous maternal and newborn outcomes that result from hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.
Because preeclampsia awareness saves lives, efforts this month will span the country and cover a variety of communication venues. The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia™ campaign ad will appear on the ...
Posted in Preeclampsia Information on April 28, 2013 by Website
A longer article from the Preeclampsia Foundation will be posted by the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWOHNN) in May. Here are the highlights. A survey or our members brought to light the following top 10 ways nurses can be sensitive and helpful to preeclampsia patients.
1) Thank you for educating me to know the symptoms and how dangerous preeclampsia can be.
2) Thank you for being willing to listen and learn from the women you care for.
Posted in Health Information on April 04, 2013 by Website
American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists President James T. Breeden, MD, raises awareness in his March blog about the trend in cesarean sections. "Today, one in three babies in the US are born by cesarean - the delivery of a baby through an incision in the mother's abdomen and uterus," wrote Breeden. "The rate of labor induction is also at an all-time high. Unfortunately, many of these births occur before the pregnancy is considered 'term' at 39 weeks. These upward trends have long been a source of concern in the medical community, especially considering the increased risks to a baby who may not be fully developed at ...
Posted in Research on April 04, 2013 by Website
BY CARYN ROGERS, SCIENCE WRITER
Preeclampsia's subtle symptoms share so many commonalities with other conditions that a diagnosis can be delayed or missed. The Preeclampsia Foundation advocates for what is known as "translational" work on new screening and diagnostic tests, which attempts to quickly turn basic bench research into bedside applications. In December, the Preeclampsia Foundation's Executive Director, Eleni Tsigas, sent a video message of support for an Irish research team's bid for a grant to fund a research center. Now a substantial new funding announcement has been made.
The Science Foundation of Ireland
Posted in Volunteer Happenings on April 04, 2013 by Website
BY REBEKA WHITMAN
It wasn't until my sister Rikki became pregnant with her first child that I understood the full meaning of pregnancy problems. She was 35, had Ulcerative Colitis, an autoimmune disease, and had difficulty becoming pregnant. She and her husband were looking forward to the birth of their son. On November 8, at 22 weeks, she developed HELLP Syndrome and the only option was to deliver the baby. Rikki's liver, heart and lung functions were deteriorating significantly. As I waited at the hospital with other family members, I asked the doctor, "Can't you wait until he is a few weeks older so that he has some sort of chance?" The doctor told me if they ...
Are you a Pinterest addict? Enjoy expressing your life experiences visually? Then join our 2013 "Virtual Memorial & Survivor Quilt" board. The Virtual Quilt board is a compilation of images from any individual who wants to contribute in honor or in memory of loved ones impacted by preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome, or other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Share your feelings and experience with preeclampsia through pin art!
Having your pin as a part of the quilt only requires ...
LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ELENI TSIGAS
It's hard to imagine the impact that a public awareness event like The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia™ can have on the consciousness of the public, our elected officials, health care providers and researchers, but with 44 walks scheduled in major markets across the United States, we are making strides and delivering hope!
Ten years ago, I daresay not too many people had heard the word "preeclampsia." Now the media often cover the latest research or provide helpful education, for example, CNN's February article on five things you need to know ...
It's March... which in Florida means spring training for Major League Baseball. In fact, I can practically hear the crack of the bat just ten minutes from our headquarters! But the real home runs are happening for the Preeclampsia Foundation all across the country. We're halfway to Preeclampsia Awareness Month, and our Promise Walk teams all across the United States are knocking it out of the ballpark!
Fundraising teams have used our new tools and are doing a superb job, putting our Promise Walk $7,000 ahead of where we were last year. And not only will we be celebrating our first-ever national designation, but 16 states and cities have declared May Preeclampsia Awareness Month in their jurisdictions. Read on for an interesting article that describes why that is so important to our advocacy ...
Posted in Health Information on March 04, 2013 by Website
Awareness that good outcomes don't always happen helps us prepare while hoping for the best.
Just because a pregnancy is classed as high-risk doesn't mean that it will become medically complicated - and just because a pregnancy is classed as low-risk doesn't mean that it won't. Many of us know this firsthand; we were low-risk right up until the complications developed in our first preeclamptic pregnancy, or went into a subsequent pregnancy classified as high-risk, only to breathe a sign of relief as we delivered a full-term healthy baby.
We've all seen the list of risk factors for preeclampsia: first pregnancy, personal or family history of preeclampsia, underlying conditions like chronic hypertension or lupus or autoimmune conditions, obesity, history of infertility or prior miscarriage. Awareness of your ...
Posted in Heard on the Hill on March 04, 2013 by Website
One of the wonderful aspects of living in the United States is that you can directly influence the government process at the local, state, and federal levels. This influence only requires passion and persistence. While the Preeclampsia Foundation is thrilled that our collective passion and persistence led to May 2013 becoming the first federally-recognized National Preeclampsia Awareness Month, our work is far from over. We still need your help to secure more state and local preeclampsia awareness proclamations.
You may be asking why a local or state proclamation has value if the federal government already designated the month of May for preeclampsia.
Posted in Preeclampsia Information on March 04, 2013 by Website
Be aware of your long-term health risk factors and communicate them.
We've all seen the risk factors for cardiac disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, inactivity, obesity, smoking, and history of preeclampsia. Awareness of your own risk factors is key to managing them as you age and might lower risk of cardiac disease.
A recent analysis of the accuracy of our recall of our pregnancy histories by a team of researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health showed that we may not remember our complicated pregnancies well enough for questions about them to be a useful part of a screening tool. For our recall to be useful as a clinical tool in screening for heart disease, we need to be mostly accurate in our recollections years after delivery. (Imagine a 55 year old in her internist's office this week, asked for details of her pregnancy 30 years ago...) But the analysis also showed that as severity of our pregnancy complications increased, accuracy of ...
Posted in Preeclampsia Information on March 03, 2013 by Website
"Loss makes artists of us all as we weave new patterns in the fabric of our lives."~ Greta W. Crosby, Author of Tree and Jubilee, a book of meditation
Writing about any situation will help you gain perspective on it. Many people find they can identify and express their feelings through journaling. This expression not only contributes to our self-awareness, it also contributes to healing through the letting out of emotions, self-acceptance, and the identification of any negative self-talk patterns that we should and can intentionally replace with positive ...
Posted in Preeclampsia Information on January 31, 2013 by Website
If you're a new mom, your own heart health may be the furthest thing from your mind, but if you're a preeclampsia survivor, it's something you and your physician should discuss. Why? Because research has shown that preeclampsia, along with a few other pregnancy complications such as fetal growth restriction and preterm birth, may predict your future heart disease.
Studies have found the following associations between pregnancy complications and cardiovascular disease:
- A history of preeclampsia increases future risks of high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke, blood clots, and kidney disease.
- Women who have repeat or severe preeclampsia, or preeclampsia accompanied by still birth are at greater risk of cardiovascular disease than women who have high blood pressure only and during a single pregnancy.
- Women who had growth restricted babies or who delivered preterm were found to have higher blood pressure 18 years after ...
Posted in Preeclampsia Information on January 31, 2013 by Website
Remember the moment when you embraced maternity clothing? After a few months wearing "roomy" jeans and shirts, you made the leap into a wardrobe consisting of blouses with an empire waist.
There are very few times in our life you wear a patient status so conspicuously. Walking around in maternity clothing informs everyone of your current status. Unlike most other conditions, random strangers remark upon your wellbeing. When things are going well, these remarks can be appreciated as well intentioned. When things are not going well, these random comments can be heartrending.
It is hard to wear our medical status in public. It is hard to bear our soul. But pregnancy is finite; we only have a few months of "showing." Sometimes we have been blessed and become the parent of a new baby and sometimes a life ends before it begins.
The body returns, but a story remains. And I ask you, "Are you showing?"
There is a patient art movement spreading around the ...
Unless you have been completely untethered from all media this week, you know that a popular character on British historical drama Downton Abbey died from postpartum eclampsia, shocking and devastating over 8 million devoted viewers. In her death, Lady Sybil became our unwitting celebrity spokesperson!
With advance knowledge of this surprising plot element, thanks to our sister organization in the UK where the show aired last fall, our team developed a simple but savvy public relations campaign, including an Op-Ed piece in the Daily Beast, a press release, a newly released
Posted in Preeclampsia Information on January 31, 2013 by Website
When we think about maternal deaths, visions of thin, malnourished women lying on cots in thatched-roof cots immediately come to mind, when in fact they occur right in our backyard. In the U.S., preeclampsia is one of the four most common reasons for maternal death. On an average, there is approximately 1 maternal death for every 100,000 births, but for African American women, this number triples. African American women are three times more likely to die from preeclampsia and other childbirth-related issues and no one knows why.
As our society becomes more culturally diverse, this problem will indirectly affect all of us. Our daughters and granddaughters may no longer look like us ethnically but carry genes that places them at risks for complications associated with a particular race. While we attempt to unravel the mystery of what causes preeclampsia, an equally mystifying dilemma is to determine why are African American women more at risk for developing and then dying ...
Posted in Volunteer Happenings on January 30, 2013 by Website
Terrell and Kimberly Smith began 2012 with joy and anticipation as they planned for the arrival of their baby girl. But on March 12, they received the worst news of their lives: Kimberly's blood pressure hit 200/100 and her vitals were rapidly deteriorating. Their baby girl, Lauren Kelly, was gone at just 22 weeks due to severe preeclampsia.
The Smiths refused to let their tragedy go unheard: Kimberly reached out to the Preeclampsia Foundation and asked what she could do.
"South Carolina has never held a Promise Walk before, and even in conversations with various public health professionals, pregnant women, and women impacted by preeclampsia, many had not heard of the Preeclampsia Foundation," explained Smith. So she decided her goal was to bring awareness and support to the "wonderful work the Foundation is doing throughout our nation" by bringing the Promise Walk to her home state.
She has since partnered with local health care providers throughout the ...
Five weeks ago, the Preeclampsia Foundation led a historic gathering of nine companies, as well as some of the leading clinicians and researchers in the field of preeclampsia. We also had leaders and front line obstetricians from outside the "inner circle" to ensure we weren't doing too much naval gazing.
This Biomarker Consortium was evidence of several of our core values: we wanted to be influential, catalytic and bold. As the patient advocacy organization caring passionately about improving pregnancy outcomes, we were uniquely positioned to invite and get positive responses from every company who has or is investing in biomarkers as a more advanced technology to diagnose preeclampsia or screen pregnant women for future disease.
I was energized by the ideas and commitment in the room, by the spirit of collaboration and the recognition that together we can do much to advance the momentum and attention on preeclampsia. A report is being developed ...