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Have a PEP Talk: A Simple Conversation Could Help Provide Life-Saving Information During and After Pregnancy

By HERWriter
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Sponsored by: Merck For Mothers

Did you know that a woman dies from complications related to childbirth and pregnancy every two minutes of every day around the world? If you think that this only happens in underdeveloped nations, think again. Some developed countries are suffering significant and worsening rates of maternal death.

While most women give birth without experiencing complications, in the U.S. alone, the number of deaths from complications in childbirth and pregnancy has more than doubled in the last 25 years, according to the WHO. In addition, the National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that nearly 60,000 women nearly die from such complications each year.

Yet this tragic state of affairs can largely be prevented.

That’s why Merck created Merck for Mothers -- a $500 million, 10-year initiative focused on creating a world where no woman dies giving life.

In addition to supporting a comprehensive set of programs to tackle this issue at the national and local levels through partnerships with leading organizations in the U.S., Merck for Mothers is now working to raise awareness of three of the leading pregnancy complications that cause maternal death in the country.

Dr. Priya Agrawal, executive director of Merck for Mothers suggests that talking can be a great way to help raise awareness of this important issue. She recommends that anyone who is pregnant should have a “PEP Talk” with her health care professional to learn more about potential pregnancy complications.

What is PEP? This acronym stands for:

  • Preeclampsia, which is pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
  • Embolism, which is a blood clot that moves to the lung
  • Postpartum hemorrhage, which is severe bleeding during or soon after giving birth

A woman can have a PEP Talk at any point in her pregnancy, or even before she becomes pregnant. If she has not done so, it's still not too late for a PEP Talk in the weeks following delivery. That's because complications can develop after childbirth. If anything seems unusual in those first six weeks after giving birth, make sure to speak with your health care professional.

Is someone you care about pregnant? Encourage her to see her health care professional for regular checkups. Tell her to have a PEP Talk while she's there.

Not sure about how to broach the subject with someone you care about? It's an important topic that can be brought up in any setting at any time.

Don't worry that you need to make some type of official speech. A casual conversation over coffee, after a class, on the street, is all the opening you'll need to point the way.

Feel like you may be butting in where you shouldn't, or perhaps you're making a bigger deal of this than necessary? Nothing could be further from the truth. Telling your loved ones to have a PEP Talk shows you care and could help to provide life-saving information.

For more information:

Merck for Mothers

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Merck for Mothers PEP Talk. Retrieved January 17, 2015. http://www.merck.com/about/featured-stories/pep_talk.html

Merck for Mothers - e-Newsletter Volume 2, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2015. http://www.merckformothers.com/newsroom/newsletter_2014/MerckForMothersDec2014.html

How to Prevent Pregnancy Complications. Retrieved January 18, 2015. http://oaklandcountymoms.com/how-to-prevent-pregnancy-complications-41401

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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