Staying Healthy After Childbirth
What is Staying Healthy After Childbirth?
Staying Healthy After Childbirth is a program that helps new moms with high blood pressure safely monitor and treat their high blood pressure from the comfort of their home. We send people home with special equipment that allows for daily remote monitoring and the ability to interact in real time with health care professionals to guide and support them through six weeks after delivery. High blood pressure is common during pregnancy and postpartum. At least 20% of new moms in Wisconsin have high blood pressure, which, if left uncontrolled, can lead to seizure, stroke, organ damage, or even death.
People who use the Staying Healthy After Childbirth program go home after giving birth with a home blood pressure monitoring kit that sends daily blood pressure measurements to the healthcare team and your electronic medical record. Your blood pressure is reviewed every day by an obstetric nurse with special training in monitoring people who had high blood pressure during pregnancy or after birth. The Staying Healthy After Childbirth team can start, increase, and stop blood pressure medication under the direction of the program physician based on participants’ blood pressure readings.
People who use this program are much more likely to have elevations in their blood pressure detected early and treated, thereby preventing serious complications of high blood pressure. In addition, we help minimize trips back to the doctor’s office and readmission to the hospital, allowing new parents more time at home with their new baby.
Learn more about Staying Healthy After Childbirth from Heather Olson, BSN, RN Telehealth Nurse in the UnityPoint Health-Meriter Center for Perinatal Care:
Learn more about Staying Healthy After Childbirth
Why is this important?
- Increasing blood pressure is common after you leave the hospital (typically five to 10 days after discharge) and often goes unrecognized until it is too high or severe and you do not feel well.
- A clinic check-up is typically recommended around 7-10 days after delivery. However, blood pressure can rise before this visit, leading to hospital readmission.
- The advantage of home blood pressure monitoring is you do not have to go to a clinic. We identify that your blood pressure has increased and requires treatment well before you even would have had your clinic visit.
- After birth, complications related to high blood pressure are the most common cause for hospital readmission.
- In a recent study conducted at our hospital, new moms using the home monitoring program decreased their chance of being readmitted to the hospital.
- Six out of ten new moms who participated in this program experienced increasing blood pressures that required starting a new medication or increasing medications that were given at discharge to adequately control their blood pressure in the six weeks after delivery.
- Your participation in this program will help you be in control of your own health, stay healthy at home, and enjoy more time with your new baby.