Awareness HELLP and Pre-eclampsia

A lot of people ask us what happened during the pregnancy and why so sudden? Pre-eclampsia is more known than the HELLP-syndrome. Both sicknesses can occur during the second halve of pregnancy. Sometimes one of them, sometimes both. HELLP is usually very aggressive and fast, while pre-eclampsia can take weeks before it gets fatal. But every case is different and every pregnancy is unique. It’s important to share the signs of HELLP and preeclampsia because… (!)

500,000 infants and 79,000 mothers die from Preeclampsia and HELLP each year!

And nobody I know really knew the HELLP-syndrome or reconized it with me. Also my own midwife never spoke about it to me or the doctor that we spoke to or the specialist in the hospital that we went to. My pregnancy was in Sweden, you would expect good help and knowledge in Stockholm.

During my pregnancy there were some signs (like a blood test) and contractions in week 23 that were strange and could’ve been seen as signs of maybe a preeclampsia but early stage. Due to my age (27) and my health in general (not overweight, no diabetes), the doctors and midwife trusted my pregnancy enough not to inform me. If they only told me that if my feet or hand would be swollen I should check my blood pressure, I would’ve been so much more aware. So that’s what I would like to share with you today; some awareness about preeclampsia and the signs. They’re often mistaken for a flu or just being pregnant and that it’s part of being pregnant. Awareness safe lifes. There are many stories of men sharing their loss of pregnant mothers and ending up alone with or without the baby. I was in real life danger too and our baby girl was born in week 26,6, after a struggle between life and death I survived the HELLP-syndrome.

HELLP-syndrome stands for; Hemolysis Elevated Liver enzymes and Low Platelets.
Pre-eclampsia causes a high bloodpressure (180/130 with me) and a large amount of protein in urine.
I had both illnesses, probably first Pre-eclampsia and later on also HELLP.

“The mortality rate of HELLP syndrome has been reported to be as high as 25%. That’s why it’s critical for expecting mothers to be aware of the condition and its symptoms so they can receive early diagnosis and treatment.” ( 

One response to “Awareness HELLP and Pre-eclampsia

  1. AJG

    lieve Sabine en Mache,

    Ze hedft zo geknokt om bij jullie te kunnen zijn….jullie mooie meisje Féline is voor altijd in mjn gedachte en ze zal altijd bij jullie zijn. Jullie verdriet voelde ik zo sterk…you know why.
    Wat een goed initiatief, er moet veel meer bekend worden over het HELLP syndrome.
    Wens jullie heel veel kracht en sterkte. I’ll never forget! Xx