Newark Beth’s Blood Pressure Monitoring Program delivers hope to pregnant women

When high blood pressure goes untreated during pregnancy, it can lead to preeclampsia and other serious complications. Newark Beth Israel Medical Center is doing its part to stop that from happening.

The hospital started a Blood Pressure Monitoring Program in March 2019 to provide women experiencing preeclampsia — and those who are at risk of developing the condition — with access to blood pressure monitoring tools.

Women receive a remote monitoring kit that includes a blood pressure cuff, a monitoring log and information on how to manage the condition. The women receive instructions on how to monitor their symptoms, log their blood pressure and when to call or come back to the hospital for follow up.

Dr. Khalid Sawaged, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, said the kit can have great impact.

“This program empowers women to take control of a key component of their health during pregnancy and helps them lead healthier lives for years to come,” he said.

To date, the Newark Beth Israel Women’s Health Center has provided more than 250 kits to women in their prenatal practice as well as to new moms upon discharge from the labor and delivery unit.

The New Jersey Hospital Association and the Greater Newark Healthcare Coalition support the program.

And for good reason: New Jersey has one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the country — it ranks 47th out of the 50 states, and, in New Jersey, Black women are seven times more likely to die after childbirth, according to 2013 state data.