Guest article by Sandra Walther: Pre-eclampsia experience of an affected mother

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Unfortunately, until today, only very few women know enough about the dangerous pregnancy complication of pre-eclampsia, especially how and when they should act. Almost every woman knows someone who has experienced pre-eclampsia, but too little is said about the effects of this complication, the symptoms and the importance of not being afraid to consult a healthcare professional. Expectant mothers are not informed enough about the possible long-term health consequences. Medical professionals would also have to address the issue more strongly during antenatal examinations and show pregnant women the urgency of the situation when symptoms appear, so that immediate measures can be taken safely and quickly.

Every healthcare professional should suggest a pre-eclampsia screening to their pregnant patients to enable early risk assessment and effective prevention. The availability and the possibility of participating in the screening would have to be addressed even more in public and on social networks so that more women are aware of this insidious pregnancy complication. In addition, I would appeal to all those affected, to talk about their own experiences in their personal environment and especially to inform their pregnant friends about pre-eclampsia, its symptoms and the screening. I would also call upon all those affected by pre-eclampsia to report their own experiences in their personal environment and, in particular, to sensitise pregnant friends to this pregnancy complication, its symptoms and the screening.

Unfortunately, this screening was still unknown in my time. In the event of a further pregnancy, I would definitely request a pre-eclampsia screening and I heartily recommend this to all pregnant women. I would have been happy if I had known what complaints I should pay attention to, so that I would not have trivialized my pain and reacted earlier. In addition, expectant mothers would have to be taken away of the aversion to consult a healthcare professional immediately if they notice a change in their body during pregnancy.

By raising awareness of this insidious pregnancy complication, long-term health effects can be absolutely minimised.

Sandra Walther, Frühchen Schweiz, organisation for parents of preterm born babies in Switzerland

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