May is Preeclampsia Awareness Month, a month-long communication campaign to raise awareness of this life-threatening hypertensive disorder of pregnancy.
Our 2023 theme is "Move Preeclampsia Research Forward."
Researchers and clinicians still do not fully understand why preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders occur in 5-8% of all pregnancies. Currently, the only treatment for preeclampsia starts with delivery of the baby and the placenta, no matter how far into pregnancy a mother may be, hoping that mom's health will improve.
We can do better for pregnant and postpartum patients and their infants, but it takes us all: patients participating in research. Researchers receiving funding to investigate preeclampsia. Clinicians implementing what research shows saves lives. Policymakers prioritizing maternal health research funding in general and preeclampsia research in specific.
Join us in raising your voice for preeclampsia awareness!
May 22 is World Preeclampsia Day. In 2022, we asked global patient leaders to share the preeclampsia journey of women in their countries.
Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDPs) complicate 5-10% of all pregnancies worldwide. They include: preeclampsia (with or without severe features), eclampsia (seizures), HELLP syndrome (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, low platelets), and gestational hypertension.[i]
Preeclampsia is most often characterized by a rapid rise in blood pressure that can lead to seizure, stroke, multiple organ failure, and death of the mother and/or baby.
HDPs are a leading cause of maternal and infant death worldwide[ii], with the majority of these deaths happening in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
Approximately 76,000 women and 500,000 babies die each year worldwide.[iii]
The United States currently ranks 47th worldwide for maternal mortality, and is the only industrialized nation with a rising maternal mortality rate.[iv]
HDPs, including preeclampsia, are a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death here in the United States.[v]
Black women experience severe maternal morbidity events at a rate 2.1 times greater than white women.[vi]
Provide easy-to-understand preeclampsia signs and symptoms education tools to improve patient understanding of what to report to their healthcare providers.[xiv]
Screen for risk factors and cosnider aspirin use during the first trimester, early hypertension control, nutrition, and exercise, which may all help to decrease rates of preeclampsia.[vii],[viii],[ix],[x]
Standardize and deploy care guideline "bundles" on the leading causes of maternal mortality, including hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, which have been shown to decrease maternal illness and death.[xi], [xv]
Support perinatal quality collaboratives that help hospitals to implement care practices that reduce early delivery and reduce severe pregnancy complications.[xii]
Provide access to midwives, doulas, and other trained childbirth attendants throughout the prenatal period, labor and delivery, and the postpartum period, which can improve pregnancy outcomes for all moms, but especially those in the BIPOC community.[xiii]
Encourage and instruct prenatal and postpartum patients on self-measured blood pressure (SMBP) protocols. Pregnancy is an ideal time for women to "Check, Know, and Share" their blood pressure readings. [xvi]
Spreading awareness can be as simple as sending a message on social media - and be sure to tag us in your posts! Use our "31 Days of Tweets" sheet to share out a fact-a-day about preeclampsia, or grab one of these suggestions below.
May is National Preeclampsia Awareness Month - that's why we partner with the Preeclampsia Foundation to kick off a month of ensuring that EVERY mother in any pregnancy knows the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia. Learn more at www.preeclampsia.org/AwarenessMonth and join the campaign by sharing this graphic! #PreeclampsiaAwarenessMonth
Know the symptoms of #preeclampsia: severe headache, swelling in the hands and face, visual issues, nausea and vomiting, stomach or abdomen pain, sudden weight gain, and/or shortness of breath. Preeclampsia can occur in any pregnancy, so ALL moms need to know. #PreeclampsiaAwarenessMonth
Postpartum preeclampsia can happen up to six weeks postpartum. It's important that women pay attention to specific postpartum symptoms, including severe headache, vision changes, swelling of the hands and face, and especially difficulty breathing. Help share this video to educate others on what they need to know: http://www.stillatrisk.org #PreeclampsiaAwarenessMonth
Preeclampsia rates are on the rise in the US and are a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death. All women need to know the risk factors for developing high blood pressure during pregnancy - and that you can also have no risk factors, but still may develop it. Share this link: https://preeclampsia.org/aspirin #PreeclampsiaAwarenessMonth
Everyone can have a role to #MoveResearchForward for families affected by #preeclampsia - learn more about how to participate at www.preeclampsia.org/registry #PreeclampsiaAwarenessMonth
Spreading awareness can be as simple as sharing a graphic on social media.
We have a wide range of educational videos available to assist both community members and medical professionals alike.