The ability to create life and give birth is one of the more miraculous biological feats of the human body. It is a gift that most women would not trade for anything else in the world. But as wonderful as pregnancy and childbirth can be, they can also take a huge toll on the body; putting both baby and mother in danger.

Complications during delivery could result in serious birth injuries including cerebral palsy. But what many women do not know is that health risks and complications do not go away immediately upon giving birth. One New Jersey woman recently told ABC News that she nearly died several days after giving birth to her second child. She had been suffering from a rare form of preeclampsia that begins after the baby is born.

About 1 in 12 women suffer from preeclampsia, which is high blood pressure and other symptoms brought on by pregnancy. Most of these women experience the condition prior to giving birth. But post-partum preeclampsia occurs in about 5.7 percent of cases. New mothers may leave the hospital with no idea that they are even at risk. According to a medical professional interviewed by ABC News, women may be at higher risk for post-partum preeclampsia if they:

  • Are giving birth for the first time
  • Are over the age of 35
  • Suffer from renal disease
  • Already have high blood pressure

Although the chances of developing post-partum preeclampsia are statistically low, women should be given information from the hospital on what symptoms to watch for. A simple pamphlet or a three-minute conversation given before discharge could literally make a life-or-death difference.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a physician’s failure to diagnose or failure to inform you of risks and side effects, you may be able to recover compensation. Please share your concerns with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

Source: ABC News, “High Blood Pressure Nearly Kills Mom After Normal Pregnancy,” Susan Donaldson James, May 20, 2014