What is toxemia, the condition Beyoncé suffered from when she was pregnant with the twins?

After much anticipation, the September 2018 issue of Vogue, featuring Beyoncé and her creative vision, is here. In the cover story, published today, August 6th, Queen Bey opened up about her pregnancies and motherhood, revealing that when she was pregnant with her twins, Sir and Rumi, she suffered from toxemia. But what does that mean?

Toxemia is another term for preeclampsia, according to the Preeclampsia Foundation. The foundation also notes that it occurs in about five to eight percent of pregnancies. According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, the condition usually begins after the 20th week of pregnancy, and it causes high blood pressure and potential damage to organs like the liver or the kidneys. Symptoms include changes in vision, upper abdominal pain, impaired liver function, decreased urine output, and protein in your urine. The Mayo Clinic notes that the only cure for preeclampsia is actually giving birth. If left untreated for too long, it can cause serious complications, which can be life-threatening for both the baby and the mother.

In the Vogue story, Beyoncé revealed that the medical condition caused her to get an emergency C-section:

"I was 218 pounds the day I gave birth to Rumi and Sir. I was swollen from toxemia and had been on bed rest for over a month," she told the magazine. "My health and my babies' health were in danger, so I had an emergency C-section."

According to the National Institute of Child Health and Development, those with chronic high blood pressure or obesity, or those who are pregnant with multiple babies or their first child, are more at-risk of developing the condition. It’s also more common in women over 40, black women, and those with a family history of it.

Toxemia is serious, and we’re so relieved Beyoncé and the twins seem to have recovered without complications.

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