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A Pregnancy Story: Preeclampsia Nearly Killed Me & My Baby; What Every Black Woman Needs to Know

avonlogo1.png Christiana Oduh nearly died when she developed severe preeclampsia around the fifth month of her pregnancy. It’s a potentially fatal condition that strikes black women at a higher rate. Her baby was born weighing less than two pounds and was given a slim chance of survival. Read Christiana’s powerful pregnancy story and how she credits God and Avon for saving her life.

Christiana Oduh didn’t know anything
about pre-eclampsia until she nearly died during her pregnancy. She walked into
her doctor’s office around the fifth month of her pregnancy, after days of
severe headaches and nausea and was immediately rushed to the hospital.  The doctors also said it was extremely
unlikely that her baby born at 27 weeks weighing a mere 1 pound 9 ounces would

Preeclampsia and related disorders such as HELLP syndrome
and eclampsia are most often characterized by a rapid rise in blood pressure
that can lead to seizure, stroke, multiple organ failure and death of the
mother and/or baby.

Black women have higher incidences of pre-eclampsia, but researchers have
yet to pinpoint why. “We know that when black woman experience the disorder,
they are more likely to have a more severe form that shows up as early as six
months into pregnancy,” said Thelma Patrick, an assistant investigator at the
Magee-Womens Research Institute in Pittsburgh, who has researched the issue.

Not only did Christiana survive the
ordeal plus an additional emergency surgery days later, but her tiny baby with
a slim chance to live is now a thriving and active junior in high school. They
call her Katherine the Great. And rightly so.

Christiana, who lives in a suburb of Chicago, gives much
credit to God for giving her the strength and wisdom to pull through her own
health challenge and then properly care for her daughter. In more practical
matters, she thanks Avon.

After 10 weeks in the hospital baby Katherine was allowed to come home still
only weighing 3 pounds, 14 ounces, but Christiana and her
husband knew the road ahead would long and challenging–their daughter would
need many therapies, treatments and doctor visits for a long time.

There was no way Christiana could properly tend to her
baby’s health needs and maintain her demanding corporate job. “And I
couldn’t imagine leaving her care in somebody else’s hands,” she says.

That’s where Avon came in. Christiana had been selling
Avon off and on since high school and had even paid for much of her college
tuition costs by selling Avon.

Now she saw a way to earn money and have the flexibility to give her daughter
the time and care she needed. She made all of her baby’s food. Christiana
says she delivered orders with her baby wrapped to her chest or on her back and
was able to make every appointment Katherine needed.

Four years later, she defied the doctor’s advice and became
pregnant again. “I never wanted my child to be an only child.” This time, she
had a full-term pregnancy and delivered her daughter Felicia, now 13 years old,
by C-section. 

Once again, selling Avon allowed Christiana to be the kind
of mother she wanted to be and have the flexibility to make all school events
and doctor appointments. Today, her sales exceed $200,000 a year,  she has married to her husband Nicholas for 19
years and along with several community involvements she is also donating money
to help build a school her home country of Nigeria. Christiana was recently
featured in Avon’s latest national commercials.

“Avon is a big part of my life,” says Christiana. Even when
she was in the hospital delivering her second child she worried about orders,
made several deliveries before her scheduled C-section, and sat in the hospital,
even in pain, talking about her moisturizers. “What kind of lady are you?” the
nurses would ask her. “I’m an Avon lady.”

Today her advice for life is much like her advice for
building her Avon business: “Stay focused. Never give up,” Christiana says.  

Learn more about Christiana at http://coduh.avonrepresentative.com/?CUST_ID=0&SECURITY_TOKEN=&BRAND_ID=0&setlang=1


FULL DISCLOSURE, FOLKS: I am a paid brand ambassador for AVON. My views are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Avon and its affiliates. 

One Response to “A Pregnancy Story: Preeclampsia Nearly Killed Me & My Baby; What Every Black Woman Needs to Know”
  1. kyoung says:

    Hi, I am 10 weeks pregnant with my first child. I do eat alot of salt and season my food to taste. I am already considered to be an high-risk pregnancy due to s.cell anemia. Should i cut salt and seasoning all together? It’s really hard for me to use little to no seasoning.

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