Table 2: Women’s reported perceptions of their PE* experience.

n%

Life perceptions and knowledge prior to diagnosis of preeclampsia
 No knowledge of PE3277.4%
 Felt in control of own destiny2942.6%
 Felt unwell3551.5%
 Felt that something was not quite right4261.8%

Following diagnosis with PE
 Thought it could not happen to her4160.3%
 Did not believe the doctor or midwife1319.1%
 Thought it was not serious or life threatening3450.0%
 Was frightened4972.1%
 Felt a sense of letting self down by becoming sick with PE4363.2%

As the PE continued or became more severe
 Felt had lost control of own destiny5682.4%
 Felt no longer “owned” the things that shaped own life5783.8%
 Did not believe the doctors/midwives about being unwell1623.5%
 Felt that doctors/midwives did not believe me that I was unwell1319.1%
 Felt that no-one around had been through same experiences5073.5%

How the PE affected early experiences with the baby/babies
 It was a shock to know might give birth early5377.9%
 Was frightened of how baby would manage if born early5276.5%
 Was more worried about the baby than about self5584.6%
 Felt that baby might die4160.3%

Feelings that ability to bond with baby were limited, because
 As a mother, was too sick4870.6%
 Baby was too sick3957.4%
 Baby and mother cared for in different parts of hospital4769.1%
 Difficult to establish breastfeeding3551.5%

In the weeks, months, or years since the PE experience
 Had professional counseling to talk about the experience2536.8%
 Felt the need to obtain more information about PE6697.1%
 Found it was easy to obtain the information about PE3551.5%
 Have fully recovered from the PE5073.5%
 Have felt needed extra healthcare compared with women whose pregnancies were normal5582.1%
 Found friends and/or family were very supportive and helpful5885.3%
 Found talking or writing about PE experience was helpful5377.9%
 Have had very little confidence in mothering ability1623.5%
 Have had a strong sense of self-worth4464.7%
 Believe have been a very successful mother5175.0%
 Consider that baby has needed extra healthcare2638.2%
 Have become aware that there may be a genetic link for PE, for example, own mother had PE5073.5%
 Have been concerned about risk of PE if daughter/sister is pregnant5276.5%

How women considered their experience of PE affected later pregnancies
 Felt increased anxiety towards future pregnancies6494.1%
 PE experience influenced interval to next pregnancy3754.4%
 Enjoyment of the pregnancy4261.8%
 Choice of primary caregiver (e.g., Midwife, General Practitioner, Specialist Obstetrician, Hospital Clinic)4972.1%
 Choice of hospital4070.6%
 Level of medical care during pregnancy4870.6%
 How baby was born (e.g., by Cesarean Section)3348.5%

*“PE” used to capture all of preeclampsia, eclampsia, and HELLP.