Patient Story

Charlotte's story: New mom shares her experience to shed light on maternal heart health


When Charlotte Few got pregnant for the first time in January 2019, she was overjoyed. Aside from two small surgeries – a laparoscopic appendectomy and mole removal – she didn’t experience anything out of the ordinary during her pregnancy.

During her third trimester, Charlotte began experiencing hypertension. Though this symptom can be common in the third trimester, she and her husband decided to get a checkup with her OB-GYN at Northside Hospital Atlanta. The decision to head to the hospital was a good one, as doctors decided her blood pressure was too high and induced her the same day.

On August 24th, healthy baby Annabelle came into the world with strong vitals. However, Charlotte’s blood pressure continued to rise.

Cardiologist Dr. Lee Padove, with Northside Hospital Cardiovascular Care, diagnosed Charlotte with postpartum preeclampsia, and she was put on a 24-hour magnesium drip and two additional medications to address her blood pressure. After a nine-day stay in the hospital for monitoring, she was sent home on Sept. 3.

Even though it was a long stay, the doctors made my time at the hospital as pleasant as possible,” Charlotte said.

After returning home, Charlotte still experienced some common side effects of preeclampsia but was able to receive support from her husband and mother-in-law, a retired midwife. Together, they provided round-the-clock care for her and baby throughout September and October.

Today, Charlotte’s health has improved, but she remains on medicine to manage her blood pressure. Annabelle is almost three months old and her pediatrician says she is strong for her age. Charlotte loves the new mom life, and when she speaks to other pregnant women, she emphasizes the important of regular checkups.

Make sure you are getting good prenatal care, even if that means going to your doctor two or three times a week before delivery,” she said. “Once you’ve made it through delivery, don’t be afraid to take time for yourself. You just did something amazing, so try to get as much rest as you can as you recover.”

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