1). In the first six weeks after delivering her baby, a new mom is facing the highest risk of heart failure. That’s the main finding of a study of more than 50 million pregnancy-related hospitalizations in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure. Mulubrhan Mogos, the study’s author, is available for comment.

2). This finding is very important because the rate of pregnancy-related deaths more than doubled between 1987 and 2011. But much about heart failure-related hospitalizations before, during and after delivery is unknown.

3). To this day, women are discharged from the hospital within two to three days after delivery and not evaluated by their healthcare providers again until six weeks later. There is a need, Mogos says, for primary care doctors to take extra caution when new mothers are discharged to make sure they’re not showing signs and symptoms of heart failure.

Mulubrhan Mogos is an assistant professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His long-term research goal is to reduce adverse fetal-maternal birth outcomes and eliminate health disparity in birth outcomes. He primarily focuses on studying the impact of maternal conditions before and during pregnancy on birth outcomes as well as healthcare cost. He can be reached at [email protected].

Quotes from Professor Mogos

“Health education about expectations and their risk status during delivery-related hospitalization may empower women to seek immediate support from their social network and healthcare provider.”

“There is a need for increased awareness and public health measures to address risk factors and promote prevention strategies among historically disadvantaged groups.”