Beyoncé Reveals She Had Toxemia During Pregnancy

Vogue September 2018 issue as shot by Tyler Mitchell.

Beyoncé’s Vogue cover has finally been revealed.  Most of the news surrounding this anticipated cover have swirled around the fact that the photographer is 23-year old Tyler Mitchell.  Not only is he one of the youngest photographers to shoot for Vogue, but he’s the first Black photographer to shoot a cover in Vogue’s 126 year history.   The September issue has been known to be the most important issue of the year in the fashion industry.  The editorials featured are often known to lead the way in global fashion trends.

What’s notable in Vogue’s feature story on Beyoncé, is her openness about body image and what she experienced during her pregnancy.  As a maternal health advocate, I thought Beyoncé’s admission to her challenges during pregnancy puts another celebrity voice on health issues women face during pregnancy.  When she speaks, people listen.

She told Vogue, “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. My health and my babies’ health were in danger, so I had an emergency C-section.”

What is Toxemia?

Toxemia is described as a condition where your blood contains toxins produced by the body’s cells.  It can occur during pregnancy due to hypertension, fluid retention and edema (swelling).  It’s often referred to as blood poisoning.

When this happens to some women during pregnancy it can be dangerous for both the mother and the unborn baby.  Beyoncé’s openness about what she experienced connects her with the millions of women around the world who also have these challenges during pregnancy.  She expressed that she now has a connection with any parent who has been through such an experience and that after having the C-section her core felt different because it is a major surgery.

Having access to the best medical care was in her favour, but for many women they don’t have the same privilege.  This is why it’s important to be monitoring your health before, during and after pregnancy to prevent an manage any possible complications.  In the United States, maternal mortality is increasing in the African-American community and the deep-rooted challenges need to be addressed.  The more women speak and challenge the medical system to take care of them, the more likely change can happen.

Love & Embrace Your Body

All too often women feel the pressure to lose the baby weight quickly after pregnancy.  Your health should be the first and foremost important thing to take care of.  Especially if you had any challenges during your pregnancy.  Beyoncé admitted to feeling societal pressure to drop the weight after the birth of Blue Ivy.  Many women feel this way.  Especially when you’re bombarded with images of women who lose the weight within a short period of time.  The fact that you’ve just delivered a human being in the world and your body has changed because of it is often ignored.

This time around she said she needed to allow her body to heal and learned to embrace being curvier and accepting what her body has become.  “…my arms, shoulders, breasts and thighs are fuller.” she told Vogue, “I have a little mommy pouch and I’m in no rush to get rid of it. I think it’s real.”

Read Beyonce’s full interview on

Vogue September 2018 as shot by Tyler Mitchell.

Read Beyonce’s full interview on


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