(BPT) - By Wanda Barfield, MD, MPH, RADM USPHS
Director of the Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Too many people die from pregnancy-related complications each year. And in most cases, those deaths are preventable.
Every pregnancy is different and while some symptoms may seem normal, it’s always important to discuss concerns with a healthcare provider.
CDC launched the Hear Her campaign to raise awareness of urgent maternal warning signs to look out for during and in the year after pregnancy. The campaign includes powerful stories shared by people who experienced severe pregnancy-related complications. Hear Her encourages partners, friends, family, healthcare providers, and anyone who supports a pregnant or postpartum person during or after pregnancy to listen to their concerns. Acting quickly could help save their life.
One such powerful story is told by Lindsay, a mother of four, who developed preeclampsia during her second pregnancy. In response to her symptoms, she was told that she was experiencing typical pregnancy swelling. But when her headache and blurred vision got worse, she checked her blood pressure at a pharmacy and discovered it was dangerously high. Lindsay made the decision to go straight to the hospital, which may have saved her life.
Everyone has an important role to play in helping prevent pregnancy-related deaths.
Maternal mortality is a complex public health issue that requires a combination of solutions. Hear Her is one element of a comprehensive strategy by CDC to reduce pregnancy-related complications and deaths.
For more information about CDC’s work on maternal mortality, visit https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternal-mortality/index.html.