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Blood Pressure

Moms Under Pressure

Answers to our most frequently asked questions 

What is the Moms Under Pressure program?

In January 2023, Huddle Up Moms received a grant from Million Hearts® Health Equity Implementation project funding to implement evidence-based strategies to improve cardiovascular health and advance health equity. Our goal is to distribute 350 blood pressure cuff kits throughout Southwestern Virginia to pregnant mother mothers and birthing persons who are diagnosed with preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome, gestational hypertension, or are at risk for those hypertensive disorders. We will be distributing these kits to all pregnant people who enroll in our program in hopes of raising awareness and education about blood pressure-related issues in pregnancy and empowering mothers to take action for their own health.

 Those who choose to enroll in the FREE  community health intervention program will receive:

·    Official Moms Under Pressure backpack 

·    Blood pressure self-measuring kit  

·    Care-Coordination and navigation 

·    Connecting with local resources to ensure a healthier pregnancy

Who is eligible for the Moms Under Pressure Program?
  1. Pregnant women who live in Southwest Virginia

  2. We are hoping to specifically enroll pregnant persons or women who are diagnosed with preeclampsia, hypertension, and/or HELLP syndrome.

  3. We are also hoping to specifically enroll pregnant persons or women who have been identified at AT RISK for preeclampsia, hypertension, and/or HELLP syndrome.  (At risk includes: you may be at risk if you have kidney disease, diabetes, <20 years old >35 years old, your first pregnancy, multiple fetuses, autoimmune disorders, IVF, obesity, or difficulty with access to care)

What is in the Blood Pressure Cuff Kit?
  1. iHealth electronic blood pressure monitoring cuff provided by the Preeclampsia Foundation

  2. Moms Under Pressure FREE Diaper bag

  3. Printed Educational materials.

  4. American Heart Association educational material

  5. Preeclampsia Foundation Educational Material

  6. FREE ACCESS to our support shop and formula if needed

How do I enroll in Moms Under Pressure? 
  1. Click this link to register!

  2. After registration, the care coordinator will reach out to you to schedule a time to pick up the blood pressure kit.

  3. Or you may get a blood pressure cuff kit from one of our community partnerships within the region!

How does the program work?

You do not need a referral for this program.  Once you click the link to register there will be a prescreening survey to make sure you are eligible. Please email us if you are not but think this is an error or are interested in learning more. Then you fill out a registration survey and a survey about your health needs. Next, our Care Coordinator Breana Turner will reach out to you in a timely manner and arrange to give you a blood pressure cuff kit.  Then you meet the care coordinator and go over any questions, walk through the cuff kit and educational materials, and surveys. If you are unable to meet in person, we will create a solution to get you the KIT and connect.  We are here FOR YOU! We would love to remain in close contact to make sure you are doing okay and answer any of your questions! We would love to keep you in the program until 8 weeks after your delivery and hope that we can you fill out a post-survey.

What if I need a translator?

We have a great partnership with an organization named Casa Latina, and we can offer materials in Spanish and a Spanish translator. Currently, we do not offer other languages, but we are hoping to expand and want to hear from you about how we can help meet your needs. We can work on getting it translated for you.

Where do I need to be located to participate in the program?

Moms Under Pressure is currently available to individuals in Central and Southwestern, Virginia.

What if I am not diagnosed with blood pressure or at risk, can I still participate?

Yes, we had originally hoped to enroll those at risk or already diagnosed but we quickly realized the NEED IS TOO BIG! Most people want better access to preventative care and want to monitor their blood pressure program.

Does it cost anything to participate in the program?

Nope! This is a free community health intervention aimed at bringing health to home.

What if I enroll and no longer want to participate?

You are allowed to de-enroll in the Moms Under Pressure program at any point during the health intervention. enroll and no longer want to participate?

What is the time commitment once I join Moms Under Pressure?

There is minimal time commitment once enrolling in Moms Under Pressure. Just be willing to have low-stress interactions with the care coordinator weekly.

How do I take my blood pressure?

Take a look at the Preeclampsia Foundation for information about how to take your blood pressure

Who has access to the data?

All the surveys will be on a platform called Questions Pro, where there is an unlikely risk of a data breach. Additionally, only those affiliated with the Moms Under Pressure community intervention will have access to your data and information. We believe we have a special program and will be using the data (not your secure information) to help obtain more funding to reach more moms in our area.

What is preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia, also known as pre-e-CLAMP-si-a, is a condition characterized by persistent high blood pressure that develops during pregnancy or the postpartum period. It may be accompanied by high levels of protein in the urine, decreased blood platelets, kidney or liver problems, fluid in the lungs, or signs of brain complications like seizures and visual disturbances. The diagnosis is typically made by observing elevated blood pressure in the expectant mother after the 20th week of pregnancy, and it is a unique condition to human pregnancy. Recent guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have changed the diagnostic criteria, no longer requiring the presence of high protein levels in the urine. Research has shown that organ issues in the kidneys and liver can occur even without proteinuria, and the amount of protein in the urine does not indicate the severity of the disease's progression. Prior to these updated guidelines, healthcare providers primarily relied on blood pressure and proteinuria for diagnosing preeclampsia.


To diagnose preeclampsia, it is now necessary to identify persistent high blood pressure during pregnancy or the postpartum period, along with either high levels of protein in the urine or the emergence of decreased blood platelets, kidney or liver problems, fluid in the lungs, or signs of brain complications like seizures and visual disturbances.

Common symptoms that may indicate preeclampsia include headaches, abdominal pain, shortness of breath or burning sensation behind the sternum, nausea and vomiting, confusion, heightened anxiety, and visual disturbances such as sensitivity to light, blurred vision, or seeing flashing spots or auras. Preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders affect approximately 5-8% of all births in the United States.


While most women with preeclampsia give birth to healthy babies and fully recover, there is a risk of complications that can be life-threatening to both the mother and the baby. The condition can rapidly progress to severe preeclampsia. Over the past two decades, the incidence of preeclampsia in the US has increased by 25%, making it a significant cause of maternal and infant illness and mortality.

Preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders during pregnancy are devastating conditions, and delays in diagnosis or management can worsen the outcomes, potentially leading to serious harm or death for both the women and their babies, before, during, or after childbirth.

What is HELLP Syndrome?  

HELLP (Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes, and Low Platelets) syndrome, as described by the Preeclampsia Foundation, is a life-threatening pregnancy complication that is typically considered a variant of preeclampsia. Both conditions tend to manifest during the later stages of pregnancy or shortly after childbirth. The name HELLP syndrome was coined by Dr. Louis Weinstein in 1982, reflecting its defining characteristics:


H: Hemolysis, which refers to the breakdown of red blood cells.

EL: Elevated liver enzymes.

LP: Low platelet count.


Diagnosing HELLP syndrome can be challenging since not all the typical signs of preeclampsia, such as high blood pressure and protein in the urine, may be present. The symptoms of HELLP syndrome are occasionally mistaken for other conditions like gastritis, flu, acute hepatitis, acute fatty liver disease, or gall bladder disease, although there is no evidence suggesting a direct connection between these conditions and HELLP syndrome. Early detection is crucial as approximately 25% of cases can lead to severe illness or even death. Therefore, raising awareness about HELLP syndrome and its relationship to preeclampsia among patients is essential to ensure the best possible medical care for both the mother and the baby.

What is gestational hypertension?

Gestational hypertension, also known as pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), is a condition characterized by high blood pressure that develops during pregnancy. It typically arises after the 20th week of gestation and affects around 6-8% of pregnant women. Gestational hypertension is different from chronic hypertension, as it occurs specifically during pregnancy and usually resolves after childbirth.


The exact cause of gestational hypertension is unknown, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors. Risk factors for developing gestational hypertension include being a first-time mother, having a family history of the condition, being overweight or obese, being older than 40, and having certain underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease.


Gestational hypertension can have serious implications for both the mother and the baby. If left untreated, it can progress to a more severe condition called preeclampsia, which is characterized by high blood pressure along with organ damage and other complications. Preeclampsia poses risks such as restricted fetal growth, preterm birth, placental abruption, and maternal complications such as stroke or organ failure.


To manage gestational hypertension, close monitoring of blood pressure and regular prenatal check-ups are essential. Treatment may involve lifestyle modifications, such as maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, and rest. In some cases, medication to control blood pressure may be prescribed to ensure the well-being of the mother and the baby.


Overall, gestational hypertension is a significant condition that requires careful monitoring and medical management during pregnancy to minimize the risks and ensure a healthy outcome for both the mother and the baby.

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