Understanding Pre-Eclampsia: A Guide for Parents and Health Professionals

Author: Cowan, Joyce


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  • ISBN: 9780995470903
  • Author: Cowan, Joyce
  • Publ Date: 2017-05-11
  • Edition:
  • Pages: 240
  • Status: ACT
  • ID - 567089


Pre-eclampsia is a strange name for an even stranger illness. While our awareness of this fairly common pregnancy complication dates back to ancient times, our understanding is far from complete.We know it affects women in the second half of pregnancy but we don't know why some get it and others don't.We recognise the main signs and symptoms but we don't know what causes them. And because the cause remains a mystery we have no reliable ways to stop women getting it or cure them (except by delivery) once they have it.We think of it as one disease, but actually it could be several different conditions that show themselves in similar ways.Is it any wonder, then, that expectant parents all-too-often remain ignorant about pre-eclampsia until it strikes them; that health professionals sometimes fail to spot - or act on - the warning signs; and that mothers and babies continue to suffer unnecessarily?This book aims to arm parents-to-be with the awareness they need to keep themselves and their babies safe and health professionals with the tools to monitor, treat and support the women in their care.It is co-written by three authors with unique insights into pre-eclampsia: Professor Chris Redman, one of the world's leading experts on the condition; Joyce Cowan, an academic midwife, who has studied it extensively; and Isabel Walker, a former health journalist who was Founder-Director of the world's first patient support group, Action on Pre-eclampsia (APEC). One day doctors and midwives will have the knowledge they need to defeat pre-eclampsia or at least halt it in its tracks. Until then the authors hope their book will act as a beacon of light in a world of shadows.

Author Biography:

Chris Redman is a retired physician, the first in the world to be appointed to a full time academic appointment in the new specialty of obstetric medicine, at Oxford University in the UK. Early in his research career he encountered women with the worst forms of pre-eclampsia, which opened his eyes to the suffering it caused to them and their families, and how poorly it was managed - neither humanely nor effectively. The experience inspired him to devote his career to 'understanding pre-eclampsia'. Much has been achieved, but there is still a great deal more to be done. He and Isabel Walker have worked together for 30 years to communicate progress and knowledge to those who need to know more about this uniquely difficult complication of pregnancy.Joyce Cowan is a midwife and senior lecturer in undergraduate and postgraduate midwifery education, based in Auckland, New Zealand. Her special interest in pre-eclampsia led her in 1994 to co-found, with client Wendy Roberts, the New Zealand Action on Pre-eclampsia patient group (NZAPEC - an offshoot of the UK-based parent organisation). As director of NZAPEC she has helped to raise awareness of pre-eclampsia by organising study days for midwives and doctors and publishing educational materials for women and families. As a midwife she has worked in a variety of settings from home to specialist hospital units. As an academic, she has published a Master's thesis on women's experience of early-onset pre-eclampsia, while her current doctoral study focuses on detection of fetal growth restriction. Isabel Walker is a former medical journalist, who lost her first baby as a result of pre-eclampsia in 1987 and went on to co-found the UK patient group Action on Pre-eclampsia (APEC) with Professor Chris Redman. She and Professor Redman also co-wrote the award-winning book Pre-eclampsia: The Facts, published by Oxford University Press in 1992. Isabel led APEC as Director until 2000, winning the Options Magazine 'Woman of Commitment' award for her work in 1995. A qualified personal performance coach, she currently works with private and not-for-profit sector organisations in the UK as a consultant and trainer, specialising in communication skills.


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