• Every two minutes, a woman dies giving life – not only in developing countries, but everywhere, including the United States

In the United States, three of the leading causes of these deaths are
Preeclampsia, Embolism (pulmonary) and Post-partum hemorrhage.

That's why Merck for Mothers is encouraging expecting families to have a
PEP Talk — a conversation with a healthcare
professional about these potential pregnancy complications.


Tell someone you love to have a PEP Talk with a healthcare professional.
A simple conversation could help to provide life-saving information.

What is PEP?

What is it?
Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure and presence of protein in the urine during pregnancy, childbirth or after delivery

How common is it?
Approximately 200,000 - 300,000 women are affected each year, or 5 - 8 of every 100 pregnancies in the U. S.

When does it occur?
Typically in the late second or third trimesters of pregnancy, but can occur anytime during pregnancy or six weeks after

What are the symptoms*?
There are many symptoms of preeclampsia, but some of the most common ones are:

  • Severe headache
  • Changes in vision or problems with vision
  • Pain in upper abdomen or under ribs
  • Nausea and dizziness
  • Swelling in the face or hands
  • Sudden weight gain

Key Questions to Ask During a PEP Talk

It's important to talk to your healthcare professional about pregnancy complications, risk factors and warning signs. Some key questions include:

  • What are the leading complications that can be experienced during pregnancy that I should be aware of?
  • What are the risk factors associated with these complications?
  • Is there anything I can do to reduce my risk?
  • What are the warning signs that I or my family should look out for?

Who should you tell about having a PEP Talk?

Anyone pregnant or considering becoming pregnant and their family members. A woman's entire support network should be informed and be her advocate.

Just a few words could help make a difference.

"I recently learned that pregnant women can be at risk for some serious complications. Next time you're at the doctor, be sure to ask about this"

PEP Talk Tools & Resources

  • PEP Talk Infographic

    PEP Talk Infographic

    Summary of the leading pregnancy complications in the U.S.
    Click to view



    Symptoms associated with the leading pregnancy complications in the U.S.
    Click to view


    Some key questions for expecting families to ask their healthcare professional(s)
    during their next visit.
    Click to view


    Tips for when, where and how to tell your pregnant loved ones and their family members to have PEP Talk
    Click to view

Did You Know?

60,000 The approximate number of women who nearly die during pregnancy or childbirth every year in the U.S.
64 The U.S.'s global rank based on maternal mortality rate - behind nearly every other developed nation.
500 Merck for Mothers is a 10-year $500 million initiative focused on creating a world where no woman dies giving life.
30 We are working to improve maternal health in more than 30 countries around the world