May is most notable for Mother’s Day – a day to celebrate moms everywhere for being nurturers, leaders, role models, and the best hug-givers! This year the month of May will also honor moms, in a powerful way, with the launch of National Preeclampsia Awareness Month.
Designed by the Preeclampsia Foundation, National Preeclampsia Awareness Month is a month-long educational campaign that aims to build awareness around preeclampsia, a life-threatening pregnancy disorder that affects hundreds of thousands of moms, and their unborn babies, each year. The Preeclampsia Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing patient support and education, raising public awareness, advancing research and improving health care practices. They envision a world where preeclampsia no longer threatens the lives of mothers and babies. 1
Although most women with preeclampsia will deliver a healthy baby, some will experience complications. Worldwide, preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are responsible for 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths each year. 1 Despite such devastating numbers, too few people are aware and informed about this global health problem.
That’s where you can help!
A picture can say a thousand words
As the saying goes, “The best defense is a good offense”. That’s why ViaCord and the Preeclampsia Foundation have teamed up for the month of May to give you an opportunity to help spread the word about this very important pregnancy topic. Simply visit ViaCord’s dedicated Facebook page and upload a photo of your baby bump! Not expecting? No worries. You can still upload a photo and for every photo ViaCord receives (1 per person please), we’ll donate $10 to the Preeclampsia Foundation to support their mission. We’ve even coined a special hashtag for this initiative #awarebecauseicare. Why? Because we do…and we know you do too.
What is Preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia is a pregnancy and postpartum hypertensive disorder that impacts at least 5-8% of pregnant women each year – 300,000 women in the U.S. alone. 1 It’s characterized by high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine, typically occurring after 20 weeks gestation and up to 6 weeks post partum. Since the cause of preeclampsia is still not understood and every pregnancy is at risk, proper prenatal care and knowing what symptoms to look for is critical to diagnose and manage preeclampsia.
Some symptoms that may suggest preeclampsia include headaches, abdominal pain, visual disturbances (oversensitivity to light, blurred vision, seeing flashing spots or auras), swelling, and shortness of breath. As a rapidly progressive condition the affect preeclampsia can have on a mother’s vital organs can lead to serious, and sometimes fatal, complications for both mom and baby if left untreated.
Did you experience preeclampsia or know someone who did? Share your story here and visit our Facebook page to help spread the word. #awarebecauseicare And we’re grateful for it.
References 1. http://www.preeclampsia.org/