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 ...
May and Mother's Day are so intertwined that it's hard to think about one without the other, especially here at the Preeclampsia Foundation, where we've built a nationwide campaign at www.promisewalk.org/campaign to get the word out about preeclampsia - the "thing" that for many survivors turned our entrance into motherhood into a nightmare.
I believe celebrating mothers is a commemoration of extremes. Not just because preeclampsia is an extreme condition, but because the mothers I am ...
Posted in Research on March 01, 2012 by Caryn
Is there a nutritional connection to preeclampsia? That idea seems plausible at first, as when the blood samples of women have been analyzed, some researchers have found altered levels of various vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, preeclamptic women have altered patterns of weight gain during pregnancy; and obese women are more likely to develop preeclampsia.
Such considerations may lead one to speculate that certain diets may prevent or reverse the disease, in which case the appropriate diet becomes a therapeutic intervention. However the best research to date suggests this just isn't so.
Posted in Research on December 04, 2011 by Caryn
Currently there's no way to know for certain whether preeclampsia will develop during any given pregnancy. This leaves pregnant women and their care providers with little choice but to wait for symptoms to appear... dangerous symptoms that mean the disease has progressed to the point where mother and baby are critically ill and will need intensive monitoring and carefully timed delivery to protect their health and lives. The only screening method to date is to measure those symptoms when they appear.
Early detection wouldn't be a treatment. But what if a screening test could let us know, weeks or even months in advance, that we'd probably be getting ill? Knowing might change the way we seek care - possibly choosing specialist care providers with the education and experience to manage medically complicated pregnancies. Women in parts of the world (like
In April, a New York Times article cited a study from the medical journal The Lancet that indicated for the first time in decades, researchers are seeing a significant drop worldwide in the number of women dying each year from pregnancy and childbirth, to about 342,900 in 2008 from 526,300 in 1980.
Several reasons were noted for the improvement: lower pregnancy rates in some countries; higher income, which improves nutrition and access to health ...
“I have learned through bitter experience this one supreme lesson: to conserve my anger. And as heat conserved is transmitted into energy, even so our anger controlled, can be transmitted into a power that can move the world.” The quote above is from Mohandas Gandhi. I think it captures a very real component of human nature and gives us pause to examine our own behaviors and actions. Tragedy and sadness of any sort can fuel a torrent of emotions—among them anger.
Anger is a reasonable response for a woman who has had preeclampsia and perhaps lost a child or suffered debilitating damage to her body. Anger seems most rational for the husband who finds he is a single parent because of preeclampsia. Anger is almost logical for parents of a premature baby who may face a lifetime of physical and developmental challenges because of preeclampsia.
I get angry too ...