Partners, Friends, and Family of Pregnant or Postpartum Women

If a loved one experiences an urgent maternal warning sign during or within a year after pregnancy, get medical care immediately.

partners, friends and family

Your pregnant or recently pregnant friend or family member is going through many changes. Changes are normal but some could be warning signs for complications or more serious problems.

It may be physical, but also includes feelings of sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that make it difficult to complete daily care activities for herself, her baby or others. It’s important to really Hear Her concerns when she expresses them to you and encourage her to seek help, if needed. Serious pregnancy-related complications and deaths can occur, but many can be prevented if we recognize the warning signs and encourage women to get help early.

How can you help?

  • Learn the urgent maternal warning signs.
  • Listen to her concerns.
  • Encourage her to seek medical help. If something doesn’t feel right, she should reach out to her provider. If she is experiencing an urgent maternal warning sign, she should get medical care right away. Be sure that she says she is pregnant or was pregnant within the last year.
  • Offer to go with her to get medical care and help her ask questions.
  • Take notes and help her talk to a healthcare provider to get the support she needs.
  • Support her through follow-up care.

Starting the Conversation

If your loved one shares that something doesn’t feel right, support her to get the care and answers she may need. Learn the urgent warning signs that need immediate medical attention. Print this guide to help with the conversation. [PDF – 566 KB]