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Physical Complications in Pregnancy Study

The California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative and Stanford University is conducting a study on women's experiences with severe physical complications in pregnancy. Recruitment is limited to those women who live in the United States.

The injuries may have been diagnosed at the time of delivery or may not have been noticed until weeks, months or years after the delivery. They are conducting private interviews with women who gave birth vaginally and with women who had cesarean (c-­â€section) deliveries. Through listening to and studying women's experiences and childbearing stories can improve maternal health care and women’s postpartum health. The study is seeking women who meet all the following criteria:

  • are 18 years or older
  • have given birth in a US hospital (by vaginal or cesarean method) to a live baby born at least 9 months prior to the interview
  • experienced injury or other physical damage as a result of the labor and/or delivery

The interviews will be private, and may take place in person or by phone with a trained member of our research team. Participants' confidentiality will be protected throughout the study.

For more information, please contact info@myheartsisters.com

Update 13th June 2014

The study is ongoing and some of the findings from the narratives so far have been;

Women whose symptoms were taken seriously were quickly referred to a specialist and for cardiac evaluation. Women’s accounts reflect a double burden of illness and not being listened to when symptoms were ignored or dismissed as “normal” for pregnancy.

  • 28% of the narratives describe first being diagnosed with something other than PPCM: pneumonia; flu; gall bladder; asthma; or “new mom” anxiety. 
  • 57% describe symptom dismissal by physician (MD/OB) & nurses.
  • 54% describe having symptoms being taken seriously by a clinician, sometimes this is after symptoms were dismissed by another clinician.
  • 20% describe multiple visits to seek care and 18% sought second opinion

Published Saturday, 19 January 2013 by Jeanee Andrewartha

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