Woman Nearly Dies From Postpartum Issues

You know that high blood pressure can cause serious problems for pregnant women, but one new mom found out that the risk doesn't stop after delivery.

Woman in hospital

Photo credit: Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Sarah Hughes, a mother of two who lives in New Jersey, thought that the symptoms she was experiencing after the C-section birth of her second child weren't that big of a deal. It turns out that she was quite ill, and credits her husband for urging her to phone her doctor.

Postpartum preeclampsia

High blood pressure during pregnancy is something that your care provider will look out for at each visit, because high blood pressure combined with protein in the urine can signal that you've developed preeclampsia, a dangerous condition that can make you severely ill and can even lead to death.

For Hughes, her pregnancy was normal, and when she started feeling poorly after her daughter was born, she chalked it up to normal postpartum fatigue. She had a dull headache and was exhausted, but didn't think it was a big deal. Fortunately, her husband convinced her to call her doctor, and she was immediately told to go straight to the ER.

Soon, she was diagnosed with postpartum preeclampsia and was hospitalized. After her recovery, she wondered why women are discharged after giving birth without being informed of the warning signs.

The Preeclampsia Foundation

Even though it's not common, Hughes has become a spokesperson for the Preeclampsia Foundation to help spread awareness that the condition can strike both before as well as after birth.

Symptoms to look for include:

  • Weight gain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Severe headaches
  • Change in reflexes
  • Spots before your eyes
  • Reduced output of urine or no urine
  • Blood in the urine
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive vomiting and nausea

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Tags: preeclampsia

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