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Melbourne, Fla. - May 1, 2013 - This May is the first National Preeclampsia Awareness Month, as designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To build awareness of preeclampsia, a life-threatening disorder of pregnancy and the postpartum period, the Preeclampsia Foundation is launching a month-long campaign of education including infographics, Twitter chats, blogs and more. In addition, thousands of families in 44 cities will be participating in The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia™.
“A key message throughout all our activities this month is that every pregnant woman should receive detailed information about preeclampsia and its signs and symptoms,” said the Foundation’s Executive Director Eleni Tsigas. “Expectant mothers who know what to be aware of play a vital role as the ‘first responder’ to preeclampsia symptoms. Our research has shown it can literally be a matter of life and death for many mothers and babies.”
Promise Walks in the 44 participating cities are family-style events. “You will see a lot of babies in strollers, guest speakers, appearances by media personalities, raffles, health screenings, children’s activities and memorial events,” said the Foundation’s Director of Community Relations Laney Poye. Visit http://www.promisewalk.org/campaign to register, support a Promise Walk, or to learn more about other scheduled activities. Follow the activity on Twitter at #PreAM13.
In the last three years, The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia™ has raised a half million dollars for preeclampsia research, put over 120,000 educational brochures into the hands of pregnant women, provided over 5,000 health care providers with the latest information in preeclampsia diagnosis and management, supported over 10,000 families through medically and emotionally complex times, and made it possible for the 1.2 million visitors who come to the Preeclampsia Foundation’s website each year to learn more than they knew before.
Three members of Congress, Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Lois Capps (D-CA), and Gwen Moore (D-WI) supported the Foundation’s successful petition for Preeclampsia Awareness Month to be added to the National Health Observances Calendar. On a state and local level, over 30 government proclamations have been secured across the country to raise awareness about preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.
National sponsors for the 2013 Promise Walk for Preeclampsia™ are BabyCenter, ViaCord® from Perkin Elmer, Britax, Happy Family Organic Superfoods, and Creative Counsel.
“No one cares more about the health of her baby than a mother. Give pregnant women information about preeclampsia and its symptoms, and the need for regular prenatal care, and they will take action,” said BabyCenter’s Global Editor-in-Chief Linda Murray. “As a preeclampsia survivor, I know the symptoms of this disorder can be dismissed as typical pregnancy complaints. That’s why education is so important. BabyCenter is delighted to partner with the Preeclampsia Foundation to raise awareness of this life-threatening disorder and save lives.”
About Preeclampsia: Preeclampsia is a serious - and rather common - complication of pregnancy and postpartum period, dangerous to both the mother and her unborn baby. It is characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Other signs and symptoms may include swelling, headaches, and visual disturbances. Knowing the warning signs may lead to more timely diagnosis and better outcomes.
About the Preeclampsia Foundation: The Preeclampsia Foundation is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2000. It is dedicated to providing patient support and education, raising public awareness, catalyzing research and improving health care practices, envisioning a world where preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy no longer threaten the lives of mothers and babies. More information can be found at www.preeclampsia.org or by calling toll-free (800) 665-9341.