Preeclampsia is a common condition of pregnancy; the postpartum period that affects both mother and child afflicts 5 to 8 percent of all pregnancies. According to the Preeclampsia Foundation, a low estimate of the impact of this all-too-common disorder is the death of 76,000 women and a half million infants annually worldwide.
Preeclampsia typically progresses rapidly, and often without any obvious symptoms to the mother. It is distinguished by increasing blood pressure in the mom, protein in mom's urine and possibly symptoms such as headaches, floaters appearing in mother's vision, swelling particularly of the face and hands, and sudden weight gain.
Should the disorder progress, the mother can have a stroke, and deaths of both mother and child are possible. Once a woman has been diagnosed with preeclampsia, she will likely be monitored closely and given medication to lower her blood pressure. The baby's condition will be assessed to ensure no fetal distress is indicated. If mother's blood pressure continues to rise, it will likely be necessary to deliver the baby as soon as possible.
This often means inducing labor, and that can lead to epidurals, other interventions and even an emergency cesarean. While stars can have top rate doctors and hospital care, preeclampsia is something money can't protect you from.
14 Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey may have an easy time with melody according to fans, but carrying her twins wasn't as easy as we're sure she had hoped. After suffering a miscarriage, Carey sought fertility treatment and while she used some alternative therapy such as acupuncture, the main treatment was progesterone which continued into her 10th week of pregnancy to help prevent pregnancy loss. However, she, as many older moms pregnant at 40 or older do, she developed both gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. At 35 weeks, doctors determined it was safest to deliver her twins via c-section. Today, the twins Moroccan and Monroe are 6-years-old. “I don’t think I understood the enormity and the magnitude of what it really does to your body." Mariah and the twins' father, Nick Cannon, divorced in 2016 after a couple years of separation. Mariah has not had other children.
13 Trista Sutter
Former Bachelorette star Trista Sutter was first-runner up on the first season of The Bachelor and then became the first star of The Bachelorette. While Sutter is an actress by trade, she was real about the love for the man she chose, Ryan Sutter. The couple married in late 2003 and have two children, Max age 10, and Blakesley, age 8. While pregnant with Max, Sutter developed gestational diabetes in her 7th month. In the early part of the 9th month, she was feeling very unwell and found out she didn't just have preeclampsia, she had the more severe complication of HELLP syndrome. About 10 percent of women with preeclampsia develop HELLP where the the platelet levels drop, red blood cells break down and things become quite dangerous for mother and child. A cesarean was required in her 36th week, and Max had a few small issues initially, but is a healthy child today.
12 Kim Kardashian
Even divas can truly have bad things happen in pregnancy, no matter the ridiculous amount of money they have or fame they possess. Take Kim K, for instance. With her first child, daughter North, she had to deliver 6 weeks early due to preeclampsia. Some of the symptoms for Kim were the rapid weight gain and the swelling. Unfortunately for her, the complications didn't end at delivery as they typically do for most women with preeclampsia. She also developed placenta accreta where the placenta embedded too deeply in the uterine wall and some remained behind after delivery. This required manual removal and surgery to be certain nothing remained and caused infection, a possibly deadly turn of events. While she worried about the second pregnancy with her son, it seems this pregnancy went much smoother and today both kids are quite healthy and safe.
11 Tina Malone
Tina Malone, British writer and actress, of Shameless fame, has had a rough go of pregnancies. She had her first child at age 18, and then in 2013 she and her hubby underwent IVF and conceived twins. Sadly, she lost one twin at just 7 weeks. Then she carried on to near the finish line of pregnancy, needing an emergency c-section a month early. Her preeclampsia was signaled by a terrible headache, rapid swelling and visual issues. Her blood pressure reportedly spiked up to 230 at one point, and was hovering at 185 over 90. Baby Flame is now 3.5 and was born via donated egg. Malone is thrilled to have become a mom again at 50, and at 53 has shocked fans and friends with word she wants to have another child!
10 Sophie Ellis-Bexter
This UK singer, actress and model is mom to four sons: Sonny born in 2004, Kit born in 2009, Ray 2012, and Jesse born 2015. First son Sonny was born just 8 months after she met Sonny's dad in a whirlwind romance. The two have been together ever since, and had a rocky start, as their first two children were born via emergency c-section due to preeclampsia. She was in a good age category and had no other known risk factors, other than her own sister who was a preemie.
She said it was traumatic not getting to hold her sons right away, as they had to go to the NICU. Thankfully, her two subsequent deliveries were complication-free, and all four boys are healthy and happy! She hasn't ruled out a baby number 5, either. She says as far as symptoms go, "I didn't feel that I looked like myself. I kept saying to people, 'I look puffy' and they'd say, 'No, you look really good,' and I just knew it wasn't true.'" Blood pressure readings were the basis for the diagnosis, and she was puffy and swollen, just as she had felt.
9 Brooke Mueller
Brooke is ex-wife to Charlie Sheen and mother of his twin sons, Bob and Max, born in 2009. She was married to the actor Sheen for 3 years. A troubled former actress and socialite, Brooke is in real estate. It is reported her children were born early due to Brooke's drug habits, and that may be true but difficult to sort out as a cause due to other pregnancy conditions, including preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and cholestatis. The boys are healthy and doing well, and their mother as of January of 2017 was released from an inpatient rehab facility. She has been in treatment many times before but hopefully for her and her sons, she is successful this time! While prematurity can be linked to certain drug use, preeclampsia has not been associated with any drug use.
8 Angela Burgin Logan
You've likely not heard of Angela Burgin Logan. She worked at Kraft Foods as a marketer, and then at Lifetime TV as an editor. She took her near-death story from preeclampsia and developed it into a TV movie, called, Breathe!, for which Logan served as producer. The film was released in 2011. Logan's story is especially important because African American are at much higher risk of developing preeclampsia, like triple, and the risk of dying from it are similarly high. In Logan's case, she had many symptoms such as fainting spells, headaches and weight gain which were dismissed by her physician. Ultimately, she nearly lost her life and today deals with heart damage caused by the disorder. Her beautiful daughter born in 2009 is doing well today.
7 Sarah Drew
Sarah Drew is an actress. You may remember her from Everwood or maybe Grey's Anatomy. She is also mom to two children, son Micah age 6, and daughter Hannah who is now 2 1/2. She had preeclampsia with Micah, and went to the hospital with bad abdominal pain and needed to be induced. Her son was born six hours later. Preeclampsia is more common with first children, as it turns out. With daughter Hannah, she suffered from gestational diabetes and her daughter had some early complications including a lung infection which required an 11-day stay in the NICU. Incidentally, she went into labor the evening after shooting her character's labor and delivery scene on Grey's Anatomy! The whole family is doing great now!
6 Adriana Lima
Adriana Lima is a Brazilian beauty, primarily known for being a Victoria's Secret model. She was married to NBA player, Marko Jaric, for several years but they divorced in 2016. The couple shares two daughters, Valentina born in 2009 and Sienna born in 2012. Valentina was born after doctors diagnosed Adriana with preeclampsia. Mom was put on bedrest for two weeks, giving little Valentina a chance to get a little bigger and stronger, and born at 34 weeks gestation. The little girl weighed in at 4.4 pounds. As you can see, both girls look like adorable and thriving little beauties now. Due to being born as soon as safely possible, many babies born from pregnancies complicated from preeclampsia are on the small side. My own daughter from a preeclampsia-complicated pregnancy weighed 5 and 1/2 pounds, right on the borderline of low birth weight.
5 Laura Bush
Former first lady, Laura Bush, desperately wanted to be a mother. They had all but given up hope when she found out she was finally pregnant--with twins! But the joy gave way to worry when she was diagnosed with preeclampsia and put on bed rest. Six weeks early, she was forced to have an emergency c-section because things were looking more dire. Her liver was failing at that point! The premature twin girls, Jenna and Barbara, obviously grew stronger and developed into successful young ladies eventually. Jenna now has 2 daughters of her own, Mila and Poppy. Preeclampsia was commonly known as toxemia of pregnancy in that era, and it appears Laura's case may have become more serious and deadly than the regular case of preeclampsia, probably because less was known then and fewer protocols were followed.
4 Michelle Duggar
The Duggar family became famous with their reality TLC TV show, 19 Kids and Counting. Mama Michelle faced criticism when in 2011 they chose to move forward with yet another pregnancy, number 20, after baby Josie in 2009 was born 3 months prematurely with serious complications and Michelle developed preeclampsia. Michelle shrugged off critics, and cited the fact that her second pregnancy with twins also was complicated by preeclampsia but the boys fared well. However, sadly, the Duggars lost the baby in February, 2012, in the second trimester and have not had another child. Michelle is 51 years old. She says, "Saying there are too many children is like saying there are too many flowers." Duggar is the author of two books, The Duggars: 20 and Counting! and A Love That Multiplies.
3 Jane Seymour
Actress Jane Seymour is now a grandmother at 66, and mother to four children: Katherine born in 1982, Sean born in 1985, and Kristopher Steven and John Stacy, born in 1995. The actress was married at the time and for 22 years in all, to actor James Keach and the couple had tried IVF treatment to have children together. Their first two attempts ended in miscarriage, but on the third try they conceived three embryos, ultimately only the twins survived. However, it was not a simple pregnancy. Jane developed preeclampsia and had the twins via emergency c-section 6 weeks early. Preeclampsia is more common among older moms, those who have gotten pregnant via IVF and with new partners. The twins' first few months were scary, and they had to return to the hospital with the babies due to breathing concerns, but the pair are 21 years old now and doing well!
2 Casey Danson
Back in the day, famed Cheers actor and environmental activist Ted Danson was married to Casey Coates. It was his second marriage and the pair were wed from 1977 to 1993. His short-lived romance with Whoopi Goldberg signaled the end of the marriage, and then Danson went on to marry Mary Steenburgen in 1995. What not a lot of people know about the marriage to Casey is that it ended in one of the most expensive divorces of the time (estimated $30 million) and that two years after they wed, Casey had a stroke due to preeclampsia while delivering her daughter. She suffered paralysis for months requiring much therapy and work. They had a second daughter without incident. Casey chalked up her preeclampsia to a personal history of high blood pressure. Today Casey is an advocate for solar energy and environmental causes. She is also a designer of solar homes.
1 Sara Leonardi-McGrath
Glenn McGrath is a famed cricket player who lost his first wife to breast cancer, leaving him a single dad to two children, Holly and James. He found love again with Sara Leonardi, an Italian interior designer. The pair wed in 2010 and were expecting a baby together in 2015. However, the famous athlete faced much fear and anxiety when he found out wife Sara had preeclampsia and at 33 weeks required an emergency c-section. Her blood pressure had soared to 200 over 110, about double the normal range. Baby Madison was born and both mother and child recovered nicely. But it was a terrible scare for a dad and husband who had already lost so much so early. Glenn is in both the Cricket Hall of Fame and the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
Sources: Preeclampsia.org, BabyMed.com, DailyMail.co.uk, FoxNews.com, AccessHollywood.com, ETOnline.com, Mirror.co.uk, CelebrityBabies.People.com, Independent.ie, People.com, GlobalPossibilities.org, EOline.com, BlackDoctor.org, Community.Today.com, Biography.com, IMDB.com