Let's keep the pressure down!
During Preeclampsia Awareness Month in May, WIC staff can help spread awareness about this potentially life-threatening condition, as well as other hypertensive disorders. Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period, affecting both the mother and the unborn baby. If the condition results in lower blood supply to the fetus, there may be less oxygen and fewer nutrients available for optimal fetal development. Eclampsia and HELLP Syndrome are two other pregnancy related blood pressure conditions.
Mothers with pregnancy-related high blood pressure can experience symptoms such as severe headaches, nausea or vomiting or have no symptoms at all. Share resources with your WIC families that can help them understand the importance of early and regular prenatal care and talking with their health care provider about symptoms of preeclampsia and high blood pressure during pregnancy.
Preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a leading cause of maternal and infant morbidity.
CDC resources for WIC staff to learn and help educate participants on this topic include information about:
- The types of high blood pressure conditions before, during, and after pregnancy, such as gestational hypertension and preeclampsia;
- The complications of having high blood pressure during pregnancy;
- Steps mom can take if she has high blood pressure before, during, or after pregnancy; and
- Ways to prevent and manage high blood pressure.
Nutrition and Physical Activity Related Resources
While managing preeclampsia is outside WIC's scope, managing high blood pressure that existed before pregnancy includes lifestyle changes that are consistent with general recommendations for a healthy pregnancy - eating a healthy diet, exercising, not smoking, and managing stress.
In addition to recipes, tip sheets (offering active play suggestions, as well as, daily food check lists for pregnant and breastfeeding moms) and other nutrition education publications you can download, MyPlate offers something for everyone, including:
- Activity sheets for kids, like word scrambles and coloring pages;
- Tech tools for parents and caregivers like the Start Simple with MyPlate app and Food Group Quizzes; and
- Resources for professionals, like toolkits and a customizable search to find materials for a specific audience and topic.
Want more activity resources? Check out those from the Move Your Way Campaign.