Women who have high blood pressure after childbirth are at risk for strokes, seizures and other serious problems. The Penn Medicine Heart Safe Motherhood Program is a unique remote blood pressure program that protects your health.
Who Needs Heart Safe Motherhood?
Preeclampsia is high blood pressure that develops during pregnancy. The condition affects about one in 10 pregnancies. Blood pressure numbers usually return to a healthy range after you give birth. For a small number of women, blood pressure stays high for as long as six weeks after delivery.
Women with heart problems and diabetes are also more likely to have high blood pressure (hypertension) after childbirth.
About Heart Safe Motherhood
Everyone should see their OB-GYN within a week or two after childbirth for follow-up care. But 7 out of 10 women who have high blood pressure during pregnancy skip their postpartum blood pressure check. Untreated high blood pressure can jeopardize your health.
Heart Safe Motherhood makes it easy to monitor your blood pressure from the comfort of home. You don’t have to make a trip to your doctor’s office. After childbirth, we give you a blood pressure monitor to take home. It’s yours to keep!
Here’s how the program works:
- Before you go home, our nurses make sure you’re comfortable using the blood pressure monitor.
- For 10 days after you get home, you check your blood pressure twice a day and text the numbers to your care team. We know you’re busy caring for a newborn. We send daily text reminders so you don’t forget this important must-do.
- A care team member lets you know if your readings are normal or high. If your blood pressure is high, we call to discuss next steps. We may ask you to take more frequent readings during the day. You may need to see your doctor or go to the nearest emergency department if you feel ill or have very high blood pressure.
- When needed, our doctors prescribe medications to lower blood pressure. You don’t have to come to the office to receive this care.
- If your numbers are in the healthy range after 10 days, we’ll text a message letting you know you’re done with the program. We encourage you to continue checking your blood pressure at least once a week. You can reach out to your doctor at any time with questions or concerns.
- If your numbers stay high, you may need to continue with the program. Your doctor may prescribe different medications. We’ll reach out to you to discuss next steps.
To learn more about this program, check out our Heart Safe Motherhood guide.
Follow-Up Care for High Blood Pressure or Preeclampsia
Preeclampsia increases your risk of developing high blood pressure later in life. You also have a higher chance of heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. Our Women’s Cardiovascular Health Program offers ongoing care to protect your heart health.
Request an Appointment
To request an appointment, please call 800-789-7366 (PENN) or complete our online form.