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High Blood Pressure Isn’t Only a Risk During Pregnancy

American Heart Association

From American Heart Association:

After enduring a difficult pregnancy marred with severe bouts of nausea and vomiting, Christina Roberto recalls the overwhelming sense of relief she felt two years ago when she finally brought her newborn daughter, Charlotte, safely home from the hospital.

“It was a really stressful pregnancy,” she said. “So there was this relief I felt getting home with Charlotte – and thinking everyone’s safe and everyone’s doing well.”

That feeling wouldn’t last for long. About a week into caring for her newborn, Roberto developed an unusual headache and stomach pains. With a home monitoring kit, she took her blood pressure and was shocked to discover it was alarmingly high at 180/110 mmHg.

She called a friend, an emergency medicine doctor, who advised her to go to the emergency room. There, Roberto learned that she had postpartum preeclampsia, a condition that causes high blood pressure and can cause other organs to not function normally. The diagnosis came as a shock because she’d never had high blood pressure, not even during her pregnancy.

Read more at the American Heart Association.