In an interview in the September issue of Vogue, Beyonce revealed that she experienced toxemia, also known as preeclampsia, while pregnant with her twins, Rumi and Sir.
The diagnosis left her swollen and bed ridden for over a month.
The condition eventually lead to an emergency C-section, which required the youngest pair of the Carter family to spend weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Here’s what you need to know about toxemia, also known as preeclampsia.
What Is Preeclampsia?
According to TIME, about 5% of pregnant women will get preeclampsia or toxemia during their pregnancy, usually after the 37 week mark. Black women are more likely to have high blood pressure during their pregnancies, according to a 2015 study.
It is a sign that the placenta, the primary source of nutrients for the growing baby (or in Beyonce’s case, babies) is not functioning properly and may even be detaching from the uterus. A contributing factor is also poor blood flow to the uterus.
Why is preeclampsia dangerous? It can lead to eclampsia, which causes expectant mothers to have seizures, putting their lives and their babies’ lives at risk.
Read more about the potentially dangerous condition at TIME.