Hear Personal Stories of Pregnancy-Related Complications | HEAR HER Campaign – CDC

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The Hear Her® campaign features compelling stories from women about their experiences during or after pregnancy. They share how pregnancy-related complications or conditions have affected them and how they got help.
Allyson is an elite track and field athlete and Olympian who was diagnosed at 32-weeks pregnant with severe preeclampsia—a potentially life-threatening, pregnancy-related complication. Given her exceptional level of fitness and extensive training, she was surprised to learn during a prenatal visit that she had elevated levels of protein in her urine and had developed high blood pressure. Her doctor admitted her into the hospital for further monitoring and testing. She was then sent for an emergency C-section. Her doctor’s fast actions may have saved her life. Read more of Allyson’s story.
Valencia struggled with headaches and dizziness during a difficult first pregnancy. When she reported worsening symptoms, she felt like no one heard her or took her seriously. She didn’t know who to talk to and wasn’t sure how to speak up for herself. It was her primary care provider who finally helped her get the care she needed.
Kylie’s pregnancy progressed normally until 38 weeks, when she began to experience swelling. Soon after, she developed life-threatening complications, culminating in a stay in the ICU, dialysis, and an eventual kidney transplant. Kylie’s husband was her “lifeline,” fighting for her and making sure she got the best care possible.
Eleorra had severe chest pains during pregnancy and knew “something didn’t feel right.” She kept searching for answers and finally found a doctor who treats high-risk pregnancies and could give her the care she needed to make it through her pregnancy safely.
Lindsay is 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 went straight to the hospital, a decision that may have saved her life.
Sanari started to experience pain two days after delivery and was initially told it was caused by gas. But when her symptoms continued to worsen, she knew something was wrong. An abscess was eventually found on her uterus, which could have been fatal. “I’m glad I didn’t stop at no,” she says. “I’m glad someone finally listened to me.”
Hear Her® supports CDC’s efforts to prevent pregnancy-related deaths by sharing potentially life-saving messages about urgent maternal warning signs.
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