The Center for Disease Control’s Division of Reproductive Health is committed to healthy pregnancies and deliveries for every woman. The Hear Her campaign supports the CDC’s efforts to prevent pregnancy-related deaths by sharing potentially life-saving messages about a variety of potential warning signs. Women know their own bodies better than anyone and can often tell when something doesn't feel right. The campaign seeks to encourage partners, friends, family, coworkers, and providers—anyone who supports pregnant and postpartum women—to really listen when she tells you her concerns. Hearing Her concerns and acting quickly could help save her life.
IF YOU ARE PREGNANT
Discuss your health history with your doctor during your pregnancy and make a plan for managing any potential problems that may arise based on your risk factors.
When discussing concerns with your healthcare provider, it is important to say you are pregnant or were recently pregnant. Describe any other health conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, along with any complications you experienced with your pregnancy or delivery. If you can, bring a friend or family member with you for support and to help you ask the questions you need answered.
While your new baby needs a lot of attention and care, it’s important to remain aware of your own body and take care of yourself, too. It’s normal to feel tired and have some pain, particularly in the first few weeks after having a baby, but there are some symptoms that could be signs of more serious problems.
IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS PREGNANT
FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Your pregnant or recently pregnant friend or family member is going through a variety of changes. While some changes are normal, some could be warning signs for complications or more serious problems.
Although some changes may be physical, pregnancy-related risks include feelings of sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion– all of which make it difficult to complete daily care activities for herself, her baby, or others.
It’s important to really Hear Her concerns when she expresses them to you and encourage her to seek help if needed. Serious pregnancy-related complications and deaths can occur, but many can be prevented if we recognize the warning signs and encourage women to get help early.
As a healthcare professional, you play a critical role in eliminating preventable maternal mortality. One part of the solution is to really hear women’s concerns during and after pregnancy and engage in an open conversation to make sure any health issues are adequately addressed.
Listen to pregnant and postpartum women if they experience concerns. Help your patients understand the urgent maternal warning signs and the need to seek medical attention right away. When patients are engaged in their healthcare, it can lead to improvements in safety and quality. Take steps to make them feel understood and valued during their visit with you.
ACTIONS THAT MAY MAKE A DIFFERENCE AS A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL:
Ask questions and address any concerns your patient has to better understand things that may be affecting their lives.
Help your patients, as well as those accompanying them, understand the urgent maternal risk signs and when to seek medical attention right away.
Help patients manage chronic conditions or conditions that may arise during pregnancy, like hypertension, diabetes, or depression.
Recognize unconscious bias in yourself and your staff to provide all patients with comprehensive and respectful care.
The Essex Pregnancy & Parenting Connection (EPPC) is part of the NJ central intake initiative that connects Essex County families before and during pregnancy, infancy, and early childhood to medical care and free pregnancy resources.
For additional questions call (973) 268-2280