Risks and Warning Signs

Have you experienced any of the following medical complications during pregnancy?


This condition generally occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy and is marked by a sudden increase in blood pressure (>140/90 mm Hg) and protein in the urine. Preeclampsia warning signs include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Protein in the urine
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Swelling of the face or hands
  • Blurred or altered vision
  • Chest pain
  • Pain in the upper right abdomen area
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Breathing with difficulty, gasping or panting

Gestational hypertension (also referred to as pregnancy induced hypertension)

After week 20 in pregnancy a woman develops high blood pressure (>140/90 mm Hg) which goes away after delivery. Women who may have an increased risk of developing gestational hypertension:

  • First-time moms
  • Women whose sisters and mothers had pregnancy induced hypertension
  • Women carrying multiples
  • Women younger than age 20 or older than age 40
  • Women who had high blood pressure or kidney disease prior to pregnancy

Gestational diabetes?

This condition results in a woman without diabetes develops high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. You're more likely to develop gestational diabetes if you:

  • are age 25 or older
  • have a close relative who has diabetes
  • are overweight, especially if your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher
  • have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • have a medical condition that makes diabetes more likely, such as glucose intolerance
  • take certain medications like glucocorticoids (for asthma or an autoimmune disease), beta-blockers (for high blood pressure or a rapid heart rate), or antipsychotic drugs (for mental health problems)
  • have had gestational diabetes before
  • have had a big baby before (macrosomia)
  • are African American, Native American, Asian American, Hispanic, or Pacific Islander

If you had any of the pregnancy related conditions, contact your primary provider for a referral to our CardioPrevent Postpartum Program. We can work together to reduce your risk of future cardiovascular disease and its risk factors. Check out some of our results