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Pregnancy complications higher in African-American women

Posted at 11:26 PM, Apr 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-18 09:01:08-04

BALTIMORE, MD. — "In the general population, it does appear that African American patients are at higher risk for developing any of the different spectra of pre-eclampsia," said Dr. Rebecca Keller, the Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist at MedStar.

Dr. Keller says some believe it could be genetically related. She also mentioned if you have a prior issue with high blood pressure, that could impact your chances as well.

Pre-eclampsia is the same disorder Beyonce had during her pregnancy with her twins. She talks about it openly in her new Netflix documentary. Dr. Keller explains the serious health risks with pre-eclampsia, including death, but delivery is the only treatment.

"Ultimately we want mom and baby to have the safest and healthiest outcome," said Dr. Keller. To ensure that, Dr. Keller encourages screenings before and during pregnancy.

Others in the community are working to find a solution to the problem, to lower the risk for African American women.

"This year's emphasis is on research," said Andrea Williams- Muhammad. "Opening the doors for black researchers to focus on black maternal health and on the issues contributing to it."

Williams-Muhammad is part of the Baltimore Doula Program and Black Mamas Matter Alliance. She had complications during her pregnancy and doesn't want others to go through what she did.