On Monday 22 May 2017, as part of International Preeclampsia Day, the Obstetric Medicine Research Group at St George Hospital in conjunction with the St George & Sutherland Medical Research Foundation, are holding a FREE public information session about preeclampsia.
At this session, supported by St George Private Hospital, you will find out more information about preeclampsia, how hypertension is managed during pregnancy, how to prepare for any subsequent pregnancies and the rest of your life, along with hearing from women who have gone through preeclampsia themselves. Representatives from the Heart Foundation, the Australian College of Midwives and the Australian Action on Preeclampsia (AAPEC) will be providing information and friendly midwives will take your blood pressure if you’re willing. Babies are welcome and there will be a breastfeeding corner where you will be able to hear the ongoing presentations.
High blood pressure affects 10% of pregnant women. High blood pressure in pregnancy is not a problem unless it involves other systems in the body – kidneys, brain, liver or blood itself. This is preeclampsia which is a risk to mother and baby and affects 3-4% of pregnant women.
In Australia, 30,000 women each year will develop high blood pressure in pregnancy and 10,000 of these will have preeclampsia.
High blood pressure in pregnancy in Australian women has good outcomes for mothers and babies but with preeclampsia mothers have 4 times the risk and babies 3 times the risk of serious complications compared to normal women.
Later in life, these women have 4 times the risk of high blood pressure and 2-3 times the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and strokes), the leading cause of death for women in the developed world.
The diagnosis of hypertension in pregnancy provides a golden opportunity to identify a group of at risk young women early in their lives, and to start preventive measures (control of weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes) to reduce their long term risk.
In Australia we have 30,000 women each year with high blood pressure in pregnancy but following up every one of these women is not possible so we need to work out who are the high risk women we need to follow more closely.
Currently there is a study at St George Hospital looking at the physical and mental health of mothers, and the health and development of their babies, in the first five years after birth – called the Postpartum Physiology Psychology and Paediatric Study (P4 Study).
Women who had high blood pressure in their pregnancy and those who had normal blood pressure, and their babies, are invited to participate. You can find out more about the study at the information session or by reading more here now.
When: Monday 22 May 2017, 4pm to 6pm
Where: St George Leagues Club (Mahogany Room, Level 2) – 124 Princes Hwy, Beverley Park
FREE TO ATTEND: BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTIAL DUE TO ROOM CAPACITY – BOOK NOW
Refreshments will be served
A personal story:
Lauren Kyriacou was 25 years old when she had her first child, Lily:
I was a pathology collector before I had Lily, I worked in St George Private Hospital for a few years, then I worked in Gymea and then Kirrawee, so mostly in the Shire. I got married in October 2014. Lily was quite a big surprise.
By being involved in medical research, I’m hoping to limit the risks for anyone else. I never want anyone to go through what I did.
I know preeclampsia can’t be prevented at the moment, but it would be good if people could find out earlier, or not have to go through such a traumatic experience with it. You can read more about my story here – and it tells you why I’m such a keen supporter of research and SSMRF.
Lauren’s story has developed further since this article was first published, and we will reveal more at the information session.