Our Website   Get Involved   Donate Now   Promise Walk Website   Community Forums 


Did All That Work Matter? #PreAM14 Numbers Through the Roof!

Whether you participated in a Promise Walk for Preeclampsia™, shared our 7 Symptoms Every Pregnant Woman Should Know video and other educational material, or joined one of our Twitter chats, you honored our Preeclampsia Pledge - and thousands more expectant and new moms now know the symptoms and are spreading the word! Special thanks to all of you, our dedicated partners listed below, and to our elected officials for your ongoing commitment to the cause.

Funds Raised at Promise Walks
We have officially hit our national fundraising goal of $440,000! Throughout May, the Preeclampsia Foundation hosted Promise Walks in 38 cities across the country as well as a virtual event. Events this year feature guest speakers, appearances by media personalities, free blood pressure screenings, silent auctions, raffles, family activities, and memorial events. (See examples of Promise Walks in the News.)

Our sincere appreciation goes to our Promise Walk coordinators and the hundreds of participants and supporters who share our mission.

Know the Symptoms
7 Symptoms Every Pregnant Woman Should Know
Our new "7 Symptoms Every Pregnant Woman Should Know" video - was viewed over 6,000 times in English and 500 times in Spanish. We and our partners also highlighted symptom-specific information in multiple blogs and articles as a result of awareness survey findings announced on May 6.

Spread the Word
We enjoyed local, regional, and national media coverage, and we provided social media tools that allowed you and your friends to extend important messages about preeclampsia's impact on moms and babies, as well as long-term heart health.

By sharing our most popular Facebook posts in May, you helped us educate 8x more people in one month about preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome and eclampsia.

This education will also continue in new ways in Florida. Their Department of Health read about our education efforts during Preeclampsia Awareness Month and asked to share our 7 Symptoms Every Pregnant Woman Should Know English and Spanish videos on its website. That's definitely spreading the word!

We sincerely appreciate our partners for their ongoing support of a world where preeclampsia no longer threatens the lives of mothers and babies. Much of Preeclampsia Awareness Month's success is due to these wonderful organizations! 
  • American Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
  • American College of Nurse-Midwives  
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • American Heart Association Go Red For Women
  • BabyCenter
  • California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative
  • Every Mother Counts
  • Happy Family Organic Superfoods
  • Lamaze International
  • March of Dimes
  • MultiVu
  • National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (Text4Baby)
  • Perkin Elmer Labs
  • Pregnancy Magazine
  • rEVO Biologics
  • Sister to Sister: The Women's Heart Health Foundation
  • Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention
Still More to Do
Even though Preeclampsia Awareness Month is over, it's never too late for you to learn the symptoms of preeclampsia and spread the word. If you haven't already, please share the 7 Symptoms Every Pregnant Woman Should Know video so expectant and new moms have the information they need for healthy pregnancies!


Members of Congress Hear You, Speak Out on Preeclampsia 

Preeclampsia Awareness Month was marked with much vocal support by a large number of Members of Congress who sought to spread the word about the importance of preeclampsia research, actions needed to improve maternal and infant health and well being, and the necessity of addressing preventable maternal and infant morbidity and mortality.  Reaching out through social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter and participating in Promise Walks throughout the country, Congressional Representatives and Senators - both Republicans and Democrats - spoke out loudly and repeatedly.

Preeclampsia Awareness Month was established in 2013 thanks to the support of Representatives Lois Capps (D-CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Gwen Moore (D-WI) who joined the Preeclampsia Foundation in requesting that the Obama Administration designate May as a permanent month for preeclampsia awareness.  This year brought the support of additional members of Congress, with three members taking to the House congressional floor to deliver statements on the importance of moving forward - identifying the causes of this disease, protecting women's health long-term after preeclampsia, and putting an end to preventable maternal morbidity and mortality (see right column for full text). 

Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) who serves as Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Women's Issues stated "together we must do all we can to eliminate preventable maternal and infant death and disability.  I am grateful for the work of clinicians around this country and organizations like the Preeclampsia Foundation who work so tirelessly to advance maternal and infant health and well-being." 

Her statements were mirrored by others, including Representative Lois Capps who co-chairs the Health Committee of the Congressional Caucus on Women's Issues and Representative Alan Grayson (D-FL) who worked with a Foundation volunteer to issue a congressional record statement to mark the memory of her sister, Joan Donnelly Heiden who was lost due to preeclampsia-related complications.  

Tweets like this one helped to raise preeclampsia awareness
Congressional members, including Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH) who serves as Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) also tweeted and re-tweeted their support to their several thousands of followers.   

US Represenative Daniel Webster with Director of Community Relations Laney Poye and Orlando Walk Coordinator Nicole O'Connell.
Representatives Daniel Webster (R-FL), Representative Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI), Representative Leonard Lance (R-NJ), and Representative Jim McDermott, MD (D-WA) attended, addressed the crowds, and participated in Promise Walks, taking and tweeting photos to their followers to raise awareness. Others, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) sent letters of support to the Foundation for efforts to educate women and place a spotlight on preeclampsia awareness.  

The Preeclampsia Foundation is working to educate more Members of Congress about the need to increase research for preeclampsia detection and treatment options. We are engaged in new efforts at the National Institutes of Health to study the placenta and understand the root causes of diseases like preeclampsia. We are also engaged in efforts at the NIH to design a pregnancy registry and ensure research can help advance efforts to address preeclampsia.

In the face of fiscal pressures and significant competition for resources, the Preeclampsia Foundation is working to ensure your voice in heard in Washington and that advancements in preeclampsia detection and treatment options persist. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to all of our volunteers who worked collaboratively with congressional offices to support their participation in Promise Walks this year and for those of you who reached out to share your personal stories and the stories of your loved ones. You left quite an impression, and we will continue to advocate on your behalf to ensure Congress continues to sit up and take notice. 


Every Part of the Healthcare Team Matters  

What could I possibly have to say to a group of physicians - obstetric anesthesiologists - who are largely known for sticking needles in mom's spine to take away the pain?

This was the question I pondered as I prepared to give the keynote talk at the Society of Obstetric Anesthesiologists & Perinatologists (SOAP) meeting in Toronto a few weeks ago. I had accepted the invitation over two years earlier and here it was upon me and I, for once in my life, didn't know what to say!

Fortunately, by the time I delivered the 50-minute talk, I had come to the powerful realization that every member of our healthcare team has a vital role to play in our physical, mental and emotional well-being. I really appreciated the opportunity to talk directly with the medical professionals who are often the one member of our team whose names we don't remember, but who's eyes and soothing voice can have a lasting impression on us. For those of us who end up in the operating room, the doctor standing at our head is the single most important voice we will hear as we lie there in various states of awareness, anxiety and anticipation. 

What I didn't expect to get, were lessons learned from them that I could bring back to our families. For instance, one group in Boston has tried to address the disconnect we feel from our babies during caesarian births by offering clear drapes. 

The same group advocates for immediate skin-to-skin contact between mom and baby, and offers guidance about how to keep technology out of the way and one of mom's arms free to touch her just-born baby.

I encourage those of you who have the luxury of advance notice, to share these and other suggestions with your anesthesiologist in the hopes that, if you must have a caesarian birth, it can be as natural as possible.


Researchers Convene in New Orleans to Share Latest Discoveries  

Members of the Foundation staff and medical board at the World Health Organization during the 2012 ISSHP meeting.
The International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy (ISSHP) holds its 19th Biennial World Congress in New Orleans, Louisiana USA Oct. 24-29, 2014.

The ISSHP's close relationship with the Preeclampsia Foundation makes it an especially exciting meeting for those in the field of preeclampsia. The history of this organization's conception and birth, and its struggles to bring awareness of the disorder to the general public and especially the research community add to its relevance and our enthusiasm.

Preeclampsia historian and member of the Foundation's Medical Advisory Board Dr. Marshall Lindheimer recalls, "The ISSHP's initial founding meeting took place during a National Institutes of Health (NIH) workshop held at the University of Chicago in September 1975. Three years later, the first meeting of the newly named society took place in Dublin, Ireland, with biannual meetings thereafter that included every continent (except of course Antarctica). The intellectual curiosity and mental stimulation of these meetings have helped advance research - at first cautiously, then more rapidly and now almost logarithmically - in areas such as causality, prediction, prevention, treatments, and patient empowerment.

Scientists working in this field believe we are closing in on causality. "This is perhaps the most important step preceding the development of specific therapies, and even there, the initial squeaks of a wheel have been heard," explained Lindheimer. More and more young investigators are entering the field and funding agencies have been made aware of their past neglect.

ISSHP President Prof. Mark Brown of Sydney, Australia, added, "Still preeclampsia/eclampsia remains a leading cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality, especially in developing nations. There is much more to do. We look forward to the 19th World Congress in New Orleans where ISSHP leaders have pledged to address more proactively the huge research and care gap in low and middle-income countries and to make sure that the most important findings of the past two years are presented. Clinicians, scientists and others gather to share information and ideas while creating bonds that will lead to a better research and understanding of preeclampsia."

The Preeclampsia Foundation, even since its founding in 2000, has always been a major cheerleader and supporter of ISSHP. Following his attendance at the 2000 ISSHP Congress in Paris, Dr. Claude Lenfant, then head of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, convened a group to advise him on both past research neglect and current research needs in combatting the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. The Preeclampsia Foundation had a representative at that meeting. NIH funding has improved since then, though funding remains proportionally low and preeclampsia remains a leading burden on healthcare costs.

"The Preeclampsia Foundation has had a presence at almost every World Congress this century, either supporting travel grants, as an exhibitor, presenting some of our own research data, or rallying the international community around common advocacy goals," shared Eleni Tsigas, Executive Director. "We will definitely be there in October highlighting The Preeclampsia Registry and moving our agenda forward with global partners." 
Fathers Need Support, Too


We often forget that the faces behind preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome are not just feminine; they are also the faces of fathers and fathers-to-be who are coping with a loved one's complicated pregnancy, the loss of a baby, or the loss of their beloved partner.


Fathers come to the Foundation's Community Forum looking for answers to their unique questions: how to deal with post-pregnancy health care, how to be a champion for their wife's best care, or whether they are "overreacting" to their perceptions of inadequate health care. Some of these questions mirror ones that women ask, but for men who are accustomed to being the "problem solvers", it can be even scarier to feel that they have very little to no control over the pregnancy's outcome. 


Dads, find out what you can do to be supportive and loving, and to get the care you need, too.

JUNE 2014
Featured Event  
September 12, 2014
Early bird pricing expires June 30.
Donate While You Shop  

Congratulations, your Amazon purchases through this program earned $60 for preeclampsia research and education in just three months!
Upcoming Activities
Improving Healthcare Practices Depends on Evidence
The evidence to support changes in healthcare practices is derived from data. To move this research forward, the Preeclampsia Foundation launched The Preeclampsia Registry on September 9, 2013. To date over 800 people have enrolled in the registry and begun entering their pregnancy history and other data in response to easy-to-use online questionnaires.
2014 Volunteer Hours

Our volunteers have
reported a total of


hours so far
this year

In the United States Congressional Record, 
May 30, 2014

Want to Learn More About Preeclampsia Research? 

Late October is the ideal time to visit New Orleans!

If you are a survivor or family members interested in meeting with some of the major players in preeclampsia management and research during the International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy (ISSHP) 19th Biennial World Congress in New Orleans, Louisiana, please email Laney Poye. With enough interest, we will negotiate with event organizers to host a patient symposium. 

Find us on Facebook


Follow us on Twitter


View our videos on YouTube  


Follow Me on Pinterest