Beyoncé gets incredibly candid in her new documentary on Netflix. Although the film focuses on her 2018 Coachella performance, it also touches on her life as a mother to her three children, 7-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, and her 1-year-old twins, daughter Rumi, and son, Sir. In the documentary, she opened up about the complications she suffered while she was pregnant with her twins, revealing she had preeclampsia. After watching Homecoming, people might be wondering if preeclampsia is common and what Beyoncé experienced during her pregnancy.
In the documentary, Beyoncé revealed that her pregnancy with the twins was unexpected, and took its toll on her. "My body went through more than I knew it could," she shared in Homecoming. She went on to explain in the documentary that she weighed 218 pounds at the time of their birth, and had an extremely difficult pregnancy, during which she developed high blood pressure and preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia is a very serious pregnancy symptom that is characterized by high blood pressure, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and is a leading cause of maternal death. It only affects 5 to 8 percent of pregnancies, according to TODAY, making it fairly rare.
But for women who are pregnant with multiples, like Beyoncé was, preeclampsia is more common. According to What To Expect, 15 to 20 percent of mothers carrying twins will develop preeclampsia during pregnancy.
There is no way to prevent preeclampsia, according to What To Expect, some mothers just develop it. The symptoms of preeclampsia include severe headaches, abdominal pain, and changes in blood pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic. Doctors closely monitor mothers with preeclampsia to make sure that their blood pressure is under control, What To Expect explains. But the most effective way to treat preeclampsia is to give birth and deliver the placenta, according to the Preeclampsia Foundation.
In the documentary, Beyoncé revealed that one of the twins' heartbeats stopped beating in the womb, which caused her to have an emergency C-section.
This isn't the first time Beyoncé has opened up about suffering from preeclampsia. In September 2018, she wrote in an essay for Vogue that she was "swollen with toxemia," which is another word for preeclampsia. "My health and my babies' health were in danger, so I had an emergency C-section," she said. "We spent many weeks in the NICU... My husband was a soldier and such a strong support system for me."
Beyoncé isn't alone in the struggles she experienced during her pregnancy with the twins. There have been many celebrity mothers who've opened up about having preeclampsia.
Kim Kardashian has famously been outspoken about the complications she suffered from her first two pregnancies, and turned to using a surrogate for her next two pregnancies because of it, according to SELF. "...I've had lots and lots of complications," Kardashian told Allure in 2017. "I had preeclampsia. And then I also had something called placenta accreta."
In addition to Kardashian, Mariah Carey and Michelle Duggar just two celebrity moms who have been outspoken about their own experiences with preeclampsia, according to BabyGaga. While preeclampsia is fairly rare in the grand scheme of things, it does impact a large number of women. And Beyoncé's candid honesty about her pregnancy complications helps bring more awareness to this condition.