Aware of Preeclampsia, But Not Postpartum

October 24, 2023 By Ki'a Vaughn

Aware of Preeclampsia, But Not Postpartum

I had my first child a year ago and was diagnosed with postpartum preeclampsia 3 days after giving birth to my daughter.

I had been aware of preeclampsia because my mom had it when she was pregnant with my sister and I. Because I had a family history of preeclampsia,I knew that I would be at risk for it during pregnancy. My midwife put me on low dose aspirin during my pregnancy to decrease my risk. During my pregnancy I had great blood pressure readings; sometimes my readings were low but never high. I stayed in the hospital for 3 days after giving birth and my bp was still normal.

On the 3rd day after giving birth my midwife came to my home for a postpartum visit. She noticed that my blood pressure was high. I had a slight headache, but thought that was due to the lack of sleep from having a newborn. She gave me a blood pressure machine and told me to check my blood pressure frequently. She instructed that if my blood pressure increased or stayed the same after relaxing for a few hours that I should go to the hospital.

After hours of no changes in my blood pressure I was instructed to go to the hospital to be tested for postpartum preeclampsia. After being tested for preeclampsia the results came back positive and I was put on blood pressure medicine and sent back home. My midwife came to check on me the next day and my blood pressure kept increasing while on the medication. She informed me to go back to the hospital and to advocate for them to put me on magnesium sulfate. After constant advocating and pushing for me to get on magnesium sulfate, I was admitted for 24 hours and placed on magnesium sulfate. I wish I had more knowledge beforehand that preeclampsia can happen after giving birth and could be just as dangerous if not more dangerous than getting preeclampsia during birth.