I recently signed up for BabycenterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s e-mail Pregnancy Bulletins. After receiving one titled Ã¢â‚¬Å“Moms confess: Ã¢â‚¬ËœWhat I wish IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d known about pregnancy,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬Â I realized that the Bulletins would be a great opportunity for increasing awareness about preeclampsia, particularly if Babycenter would be willing to send out one or two Bulletins each year specifically alerting expectant women to the warning signs.
We canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t approach Babycenter on behalf of the PF, but we *can* approach them as individual users of the website, and I received permission to post this advocacy project on the forums. Below is a sample letter IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sending to Babycenter via both U.S. mail and through their website form (no e-mail address & didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t receive a response to my question submitted through the web form, so IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sending a hard copy to make sure my letter is seen/read!). The letter should fit on 1 page in Word with 1 inch margins. Per discussions with Kara, letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s set a tentative deadline for sending our letters, so that Babycenter receives them all at once. If you can, please mail yours by January 15. [EDIT: new suggested deadline February 1... it's not too late!]
Also, when you send your letter, if you would reply to this thread, we can see how many have participated. Please remember to write on your own behalf and not on behalf of the PF, and please feel free to copy/paste & use part or all of the letter below!
Babycenter address: 163 Freelon Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
(per phone call to their business office, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m addressing mine to: Babycenter, Attn: Scott Adler, Managing Editor)
Web form: http://www.babycenter.com/help-contactus (although I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t receive a response to my question submitted via the form)
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I enjoy the Babycenter website, [could describe personal use of site: i.e., for me, Ã¢â‚¬Å“and have used it frequently during both my first and current pregnancies"]. I have been especially glad to receive the tips and facts in the Pregnancy Bulletin e-mails, and would like to make a request/suggestion for making the Bulletins even more helpful to Babycenter members.
As you know, preeclampsia continues to be a serious risk for both mothers and babies: the disease affects 1 in 12 pregnancies, is the leading known cause of premature birth, and kills 500,000 babies each year. Twenty-five percent of cases are categorized as severe, and preeclampsia can quickly progress to seizures, stroke, and major organ failure. Since a cure has not yet been found, early detection and treatment is essential to maximizing the chances of survival for babies and mothers. All too often, unfortunately, the early signs of preeclampsia are mistaken for normal pregnancy symptoms, delaying treatment and putting additional lives at risk. If expectant mothers can be alerted to the warning signs of preeclampsia during their pregnancies, particularly during first pregnancies, it can literally save their lives.
Would Babycenter consider sending out a Pregnancy Bulletin specifically devoted to the warning signs of preeclampsia, to help alert women to the symptoms they need to know? If preeclampsia could be the focus of just one or two Bulletins each year, each expectant Babycenter member would know information she may need to communicate to her doctor Ã¢â‚¬â€œ information that could save her life or the life of her baby.
[One or two sentences summarizing personal experience with preeclampsia: mine is, Ã¢â‚¬Å“My son and I are both survivors of preeclampsia, and my son was born four weeks premature. We are both healthy today, but many mothers and babies are not so fortunate."] All mothers and babies deserve a fighting chance against preeclampsia Ã¢â‚¬â€œ please address preeclampsia in the Babycenter Pregnancy Bulletins, and give Babycenter members that chance!
Babycenter member [since _date_, if applicable; mine is Ã¢â‚¬Å“since 2002"]
Additional information about the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia can be found at http://www.preeclampsia.org/symptoms.asp, or at http://www.preeclampsia.org/pdf/hbpenglish.pdf
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Thank you in advance to everyone who participates!
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*** UPDATE ***
Nicole (misscoleyp) received a response to her letter!
There are more than 1,500 severe preeclampsia cases each week, and unfortunately, more than 2 of those mothers die each week because of preeclampsia. Worldwide estimates suggest that 76,000 women and 500,000 babies die annually because of preeclampsia. My son was one of them.
Please visit..... Cooper's Story and the Preeclampsia Foundation
Response from BabyCenter's senior editor:
Thank you so much for your letter about the dangers of preeclampsia and for sharing your personal story.
I was so sorry to hear how this disease affected you and your baby. And I agree that we here at BabyCenter need to help get the word out to expecting moms.
Currently, we highlight the risks and warning signs of preeclampsia regularly in our Ã¢â‚¬Å“My Pregnancy This WeekÃ¢â‚¬Â e-mail for third-trimester moms. Preeclampsia is a topic in the e-mails for weeks 23, 25, 26, 27, 35, 37, 38, and 40.
But youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re right, we also need to feature this information regularly in our Pregnancy Bulletin e-mail.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be taking steps to do this. We started this month by putting our article on preeclampsia (http://www.babycenter.com/0_preeclampsia_257.bc) in the spotlight area (or the top, right-hand side) of our February 23 Pregnancy Bulletin (see attached). WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll also feature this topic in our upcoming Pregnancy Bulletin on Ã¢â‚¬Å“7 pregnancy complications to watch out for,Ã¢â‚¬Â which links to this story:
And I plan to highlight this important information through other e-mail placements and on our site throughout the year.
Thank you for being part of BabyCenter and more important, thank you again for sharing your stories. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re helping to make BabyCenter better for all our moms, and we appreciate that so much.
All the best to you and your families.
Thank you so much to Nicole and to everyone who participated and sent letters. You all made a difference!