Key facts about pre-eclampsia
Recently there have been magazine articles written about the high maternal death rates of African American women and the growing concern. With the recent death of Erica Garner a few months after giving birth, many African - American women were shocked and saddened.
These things have prompted me to write about a pregnancy condition called pre- eclampsia that is more common in African - American women then white women. This posts gives facts about this condition but also encourages women to take charge of your health by asking questions and getting the knowledge you need. If you don't know you better ask somebody!
Disclaimer: She Who Honors does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or medical treatment. Please consult your healthcare provider for more indepth information on this or any other questions you may have about pregnancy.
I’m sure many of you have heard or read about Erica Garner’s recent death a few months after giving birth. She was one of the thousands of women included in the higher rate of maternal deaths in African American women.
This phenomenon is not new, there have been articles and research on this going back for years. There are so many reasons why these maternal deaths are occurring: race, greater health disparity, poverty, low education, physician shortage, geographic location, etc.
As a public health professional one of my goals is to prevent disease, deaths, illnesses and other health related issues involving our society. A few ways of prevention are knowledge of self, taking charge of your health and not being afraid to ask questions about your health. With that said I will cover Pre -eclampsia, a condition that is the leading cause of death and illness to mother and infants.1
Pre - eclampsia is a condition that is defined as an onset of hypertension (high blood pressure) and protein in the urine of a pregnant woman after 20 weeks pregnant who previously didn’t have high blood pressure or protein in their urine. If not treated it can turn into a convulsive state called eclampsia.1 Pre - eclampsia is more common in African American women, then white women.2
Along with hypertension and protein in the urine, other symptoms of pre - eclampsia include headaches, visual disturbances, edema (swelling), pain around the rib area, nausea and vomiting. Pre - eclampsia can affect all organs in a pregnant woman’s body.1
There is a higher chance of pre – eclampsia if there was pre - eclampsia with a previous pregnancy, multiple pregnancies, being diabetic, hypertensive at least 10 years, obese and maternal age 40 years and older. Insulin resistance because of obesity is also a risk factor. The risk of pre- eclampsia is 11 times higher for women who have high blood pressure.3
A longer term negative outcome for those with pre – eclampsia is a higher risk of cardiovascular disease later in life. Also, pre – term birth can result for the infant.4
The cause of Pre – eclampsia is still not easily understood. There is still research being done on the why. There are theories and hypothetical reasons, but it is still a mystery. Pre -eclampsia has been around for centuries.
If you are pregnant and have questions, be proactive and get answers. Knowledge is key. Know your body and learn about the changes that your body can go through during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider, or go to a pregnancy resource center ministry like Care Net for more info on pregnancy.
If you are trying to conceive, get a physical. Check your blood pressure, blood sugar levels (diabetes), and chemistry profiles. Get your blood pressure under control, eat healthier, drink more water if needed.
Lets’ reverse the cycle of the higher rate of maternal deaths in African American women. It starts with you. Take charge of your health, ask questions, be bold, have faith.
Thanks for listening. If you have any questions or comments, you can shoot me an email. Please like, share and sign up for blog updates. Love ya!
Christina Leeman MPH, CHES
1. Noris, Marina, et al. "Mechanisms of Disease: pre-eclampsia." Nature Clinical Practice Nephrology, vol. 1, no. 2, 2005, p. 98+. Academic OneFile, http://link.galegroup.com.clp-ezp.carnegielibrary.org/apps/doc/A188753652/AONE?u=carnegielib&sid=AONE&xid=46b5db61. Accessed 3 Jan. 2018.
2. Breathett K1, Muhlestein D, Foraker R, Gulati M. “Differences in preeclampsia rates between African American and Caucasian women: trends from the National Hospital Discharge Survey.” J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2014 Nov;23(11):886-93. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2014.4749. Epub 2014 Sep 11.
3. Samadi AR1, Mayberry RM, Reed JW. “Preeclampsia associated with chronic hypertension among African-American and White women.” Ethn Dis. 2001 Spring-Summer;11(2):192-200.
4. "Preeclampsia: New study documents its enormous economic and health burden." Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week, 29 July 2017, p. 333. Academic OneFile, http://link.galegroup.com.clp-ezp.carnegielibrary.org/apps/doc/A499061479/AONE?u=carnegielib&sid=AONE&xid=11ce844b. Accessed 8 Jan. 2018.
5. Taylor, Robert N. "Lightning and fattening - evolving concepts in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia." The Western Journal of Medicine, Apr. 1996, p. 359+. Academic OneFile, http://link.galegroup.com.clp-ezp.carnegielibrary.org/apps/doc/A18306616/AONE?u=carnegielib&sid=AONE&xid=755a19a3. Accessed 8 Jan. 2018.
Transcript and references below.
Discover your stregnths.
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Happy New Year! I can’t believe it is 2018. I pray this year will be your year to accomplish that dream, vision and/or change that you have been thinking and praying about. I hope I can encourage and enlighten you here at She Who Honors. There are plenty of posts to check out to help you on your change journey, vision and other things to encourage you to live an abundant life. I pray that you also lean on God, the ultimate encourager to help you throughout this year.
It took me some time to think of a new post for this new year. After a two-week vacay for the Christmas season, my brain was still on sleep mode. I prayed, slept on it, looked at some notes, did research on line and finally it popped in my mind! Here it goes…
How many of you have been on job interviews and had to answer the questions what are your strengths and weaknesses? Can I tell you I HATED those questions! I don’t like to use the word hate, but I really hate those.
I’ve written down and been prepared for interviews with those questions. I think it may be pride but I hate answering the weakness questions. I feel they may not hire me because of those weaknesses.
What do you think of when you hear the word weakness? Dictionary.com defines weakness as: 1. the state or quality of being weak; lack of strength, firmness, vigor, or the like; feebleness.
2.an inadequate or defective quality, as in a person's character; slight fault or defect:
to show great sympathy for human weaknesses.
What interviewers should ask is: What would you like to improve about your skills? Or something to that effect.
Dictionary.com defines Strengths as: 1.the quality or state of being strong; bodily or muscular power; vigor.
2.mental power, force, or vigor.
3.moral power, firmness, or courage.
The meaning of strengths the interviewer asks, and we mostly think of is: God’s gifts to us; skills and talents that we are born with. What comes easy. For example, a learner, analytical, communicator, achiever. A weakness are things that don’t come naturally to us. We may be able to do those things, but it takes more effort.
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:4-8 NIV
When we use our gifts and talents at our jobs and in various aspects of life, we are fulfilling our purpose in life and that feels good.
However, some of you may not know how to describe your strengths or know how many you have! Knowing your strengths can make a world of difference in your life. I have two book recommendations to use to help you in your quest of strength/gift finding.
The first book is called Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. This book works with an online test from Gallup’s: Now, Discover Your Strengths. It comes with a unique access code for the online assessments. The book describes all the strength themes (that’s what they call them), examples of what that looks like, ideas for action and how to work with people who have those strengths. I took the test – about 20-30 minutes – and it emails you the results. The results were spot on! When I read the descriptions of each of my strengths, I was like yes!! That is me! This is a great book.
The other book recommendation is The Gift In You: Discover new life through gifts hidden in your mind. By Dr. Caroline Leaf. This book talks about how every one of us has a different thought pathway. There is an assessment in the book to find your thought path and your gifts. I admit its been awhile since I read it, but it was informative, and I learned more about how unique we all truly are.
Invest in yourselves and buy one or both books. They are life changers and can help you turn your vision and dreams into reality. They helped me to fulfill my passion and purpose of starting this blog.
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Christina Leeman MPH, writer and health educator, emboldens women to be the She Who Honors God with her all - body, thoughts, words, actions.
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