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On A Mother Level: End Preeclampsia

A mom builds an online community around education and encouragement for women with preeclampsia.
Credit: WQAD

MOLINE, Illinois — Kara Boeldt thought she had plenty of time. She was expecting her first child, attending birthing classes and baby showers. But at 31 weeks, she unexpectedly found herself hospitalized and delivering her daughter, due to complications of preeclampsia. She was left to wonder - did my body fail my baby? That baby born at 2.5 pounds is a teenager now, and Kara has turned a traumatic birth experience into advocacy for other women. Her online support group connects 30,000 women in more than 100 countries around the world.

The Mayo Clinic defines preeclampsia as a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, most often the liver and kidneys. Preeclampsia usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women whose blood pressure had been normal. 

In Kara's case, doctors noticed her blood pressure was high. But things escalated when she started to experience extreme swelling that seemed to happen before her eyes. By the time she got to the hospital, it would be only 50 hours before her daughter was born. 

In this episode of "On A Mother Level", Kara shares her experience of taking home her daughter after 27 days in the NICU. She discusses coping with birth trauma, pressures to breastfeed, and the advice that changed how she parented her daughter after heart surgery. 


When it comes to parenthood, we can relate.

Your kids have some disgusting habits. We’ll talk about them. Your husband served nachos for breakfast? That sounds good. You cried today? That’s gonna happen.

These are the ups and downs of motherhood, and we are here for them all.

Join WQAD News 8 anchor Denise Hnytka as she explores parenthood on a MOTHER level. She’s opening up about what makes being a mom the best/worst/most amazing/unexpected adventure in life.

You’ll meet unstoppable moms who handle the home life while launching their own businesses. And we’ll teach the men a thing or two about multi-tasking when we explore parenthood through their eyes.

New episodes available weekly.

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