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Last Updated on Sunday, May 01, 2016

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Spread the Word in honor of May as Preeclampsia Awareness Month!

As a nationally recognized health observance, Preeclampsia Awareness Month presents the perfect opportunity for the Preeclampsia Foundation to offer education and events that will increase awareness of this life-threatening hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, which occurs in up to eight percent of all pregnancies.

The Preeclampsia Foundation’s theme for the 2016 Preeclampsia Awareness Month is: The Faces of Preeclampsia: Any Woman, Any Pregnancy. Millions of families are unexpectedly affected by preeclampsia each year. Together, we tell their stories and highlight the many impacts that preeclampsia can have on the whole family.

Are you a Face of Preeclampsia? Tell your story and share a photo on our story section this May!

For more educational resources about preeclampsia to share, check out the Preeclampsia Foundation YouTube channel.


Weekly Themes

May 1 – 7, 2016: Know the Symptoms, Spread the Word

May 8 – 14, 2016: Participate in Research to Save Lives

May 15 – 21, 2016: Make the Link Between Preeclampsia and Heart Disease

May 22 – 31, 2016: Emotions Speak Louder than Words - Preeclampsia and Maternal Mental Health

Throughout May, the Preeclampsia Foundation is hosting the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia in 40 cities across the country as well as a virtual Promise Walk. Visit www.promisewalk.org for specific locations. Promise Walks range from walks to 5K runs and may also feature guest speakers, appearances by media personalities, free blood pressure screenings, silent auctions, raffles, family activities, and memorial events.

Know the Symptoms, Spread the Word

ss_infoSigns and Symptom Infographic (Download PDF) (Download JPG)

Lisa's Story (Download Print PSA) (Download Print JPG)

If you experience any of the following symptoms during your pregnancy or after delivery, call your doctor or midwife right away. Having symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have preeclampsia, but they are cause for concern and require medical evaluation. Signs of preeclampsia, which are often measured by your healthcare provider, include high blood pressure and sometimes protein in the urine.

  • Swelling of the hands and face, especially around the eyes (swelling of the feet is more common in late pregnancy and probably not a sign of preeclampsia)
  • Weight gain of more than five pounds in a week
  • Headache that won’t go away, even after taking medication such as acetaminophen
  • Changes in vision like seeing spots or flashing lights; partial or total loss of eyesight
  • Nausea or throwing up, especially suddenly, after mid pregnancy (not the morning sickness that many women experience in early pregnancy)
  • Upper right belly pain, sometimes mistaken for indigestion or the flu
  • Difficulty breathing, gasping, or panting
  • Hyperreflexia

It's also important to know that some women with preeclampsia have NO symptoms or they "just don’t feel right." If you have a sense that something's wrong, even without symptoms, trust yourself and contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Participate in Research to Save Lives

Research InfographicResearch Infographic (Download PDF) (Download JPG)

Heather's Story (Download Print PSA)

Research efforts this past decade have produced exciting breakthroughs that may bring us closer to finding the cause of preeclampsia, help us improve diagnosis and prediction, and may lead to prevention and new treatments. But research needs far more support and funding if we hope to find the true cause of preeclampsia, as well as a way to prevent or cure it.

Part of The Preeclampsia Foundation's mission is to catalyze and accelerate research. Through small research funding of Vision Grants, participating in trials, collaborating with investigators, and building the world's only patient Registry, we hope to help research progress on hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.



hd_infoMake the Link Between Preeclampsia and Heart Disease

Preeclampsia and Heart Disease Infographic (Download PDF) (Download JPG)

Debbie's Story (Download Print PSA)

Women who have had preeclampsia have three to four times the risk of high blood pressure and double the risk for heart disease and stroke. They also have an increased risk of developing diabetes.

While still unknown whether the risk is caused by preeclampsia or if the woman was already predisposed, these risks first emerge in the years following a complicated pregnancy. Although this may seem daunting, ample research shows that there are many ways for women to protect their heart health and that of their families!




Preeclampsia and Maternal Mental Health


The Emotional Impact of Preeclampsia Infographic (Download PDF) (Download JPG)

Tia's Story (Download Print PSA)

Research suggests that women who have experience a traumatic pregnancy such as preeclampsia have four to ten times the risk of screening positive for post-traumatic stress disorder and are at an increased risk for postpartum depression and anxiety.

For patients who have experienced seizures, liver failure, premature delivery, the loss of their baby, or a sudden turn of bad health caused by hypertension during pregnancy, it might seem obvious that women are left feeling depressed, scared and lonely. It is important that these voices are heard and that their experiences are understood to help other patients through their own traumatic pregnancy experience.



Media and Other Recognition

"Asheville Family Making Strides to Raise Awareness for Preeclampsia" Asheville Xpress, June 10, 2016

"NJ Mom and Daughter Promise Walk Leaders Honored for Volunteer Service" TAP into Westfield, June 1, 2016

"Georgia Woman Hit by High Blood Pressure After Pregnancy" Fox 5 Atlanta, May 18, 2016

"Awareness Can Save Lives! - Tia's Story" Black Women Birthing Justice Blog, May 18, 2016

"National Preeclampsia Awareness Month" Text4Baby Tuesday Weekly News, May 17, 2016

"Four Facts Childbirth Educators Can Share About Preeclampsia" Lamaze International Science & Sensibility Blog, May 17, 2016

"Lua Lepianka: How to Support a New Mom After Preeclampsia" American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Support Network Blog, May 16, 2016

"La Historia de Lisa y la Preeclampsia" March of Dimes Nacersano Blog, May 16, 2016

"Participate in Research to Save Lives" Double the Monkey Business Blog, May 7, 2016

"Faces of Preeclampsia" First Time Mom Blog, May 3, 2016

"I Had A Plan... the Story of Fathiyyah 'Tia' Doster" BabyCenter.com, May 2, 2016

"On Twitter? Join us at 9 pm ET for #PreAM16" World Moms Blog, May 2, 2016

"Faces of Preeclampsia" Double the Monkey Business Blog, May 1, 2016

"Preeclampsia Awareness Month Kickoff Twitter Party 2016" Finnegan and the Hughes, April 15, 2016


We’ll be Speaking Here

International Society for the study of Hypertension in Pregnancy
October 23, 2016
San Paulo, Brazil


Mississippi Perinatal Quality Collaborative
October 24, 2016
Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative Annual Meeting
November 3, 2016
Lombard, IL
Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative
Preeclampsia Experts - Florida Road Tour
November 8-10, 2016
Multiple Florida Locations
Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
November 17, 2016
Monroe Township, New Jersey
Grand Rounds, University of Miami
December 15, 2016
Miami, Florida

Invite Us to Speak at Your Event


Preeclampsia in the News

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What’s Happening on Twitter

Preeclampsia Recovering emotionally after an experience with preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome can be one of the most challenging... https://t.co/tcQy61E0x7
Preeclampsia Our thanks to @NaseemMiller & @mvaca for contributing their media & journalism expertise at our #PFSummit16 https://t.co/E1fp7Gufhv
Preeclampsia RT @GoRedForWomen: Today is the day! Don't miss a #stroke-conscious chat with @seporter21 and @american_stroke at 1-2pmET. #abcDrBChat http…

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