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What is Preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia is a hypertensive disorder that causes serious health risks during pregnancy and up to 6 weeks postpartum. It presents with increasing BP, protein in the urine, & organ damage. 76,000 women and 500,000 babies die worldwide each year.  Black women or African Americans are 3-4x more likely to die from complications of preeclampsia. 76k women & 500k babies die globally every year.

The Georgia Maternal Mortality Review Committee, (2021) found that between 2018-2020 113 women died from pregnancy related complications in Georgia. 10 of the 113 pregnancy-related deaths were the result of preeclampsia, 80% of these maternal deaths related to preeclampsia occurred during the postpartum period. 100% of these deaths were determined to be preventable. 

Are You At Risk?
Know The Facts

Learn More About Risk Factors for Preeclampsia

Do you have a history of high blood pressure?
Have you, your sister, or mother experienced preeclampsia in a prior pregnancy?
Are you Black or African American?
Are you under 20 or over 35 years old?
Are you expecting multiples?
Is this your first pregnancy or has it been less than 2 years or more than 10 years since your last pregnancy?
Do you have kidney disease, an autoimmune disease, or diabetes?
Are you over weight or have a BMI>30?
Did you use assisted reproduction i.e. IVF, donor egg/sperm, or IUI?

How To Monitor For Preeclampsia

Check your blood pressure twice a day at least 4 hours apart.
Check your urine for protein once a day.
Monitor for sudden weight gain or swelling in your hands, face, legs, and/or feet.
If pregnant, count how often your baby is kicking. 

Learn the urgent warning signs indicating the onset of an adverse event and the need to seek timely treatment.

Important Note: Increasing Blood Pressure (BP) over 140/90 is hypertension. Having BP over 160/110 is a MEDICAL EMERGENCY!

IF systolic BP (top number) rises by 30 mm Hg, even if less than 140, OR if diastolic BP (bottom number) rises by 15 mm Hg, even if it is less than 90, this is a MEDICAL EMERGENCY!


  • Protein in urine

  • Severe headache and/or vision disturbances

  • Right shoulder pain and/or abdominal pain under the ribs

  • New onset of nausea or vomiting

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Sudden weight gain or increased swelling in the face, hands, legs, and/or feet

Complications Resulting From Preeclampsia

  • Organ damage including kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, and eyes

  • Strokes, seizures, blood clots, death

  • Premature delivery & complications to the baby or death

  • 4X the risk for high blood pressure later in life

  • Doubles women’s risk for future heart disease and stroke

  • 2 out of 3 women who experience preeclampsia will die from cardiovascular disease

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