HELLP Syndrome, with Melissa Krawecki

The Birthful Podcast: Episode #87

This not very well known and hard to diagnose syndrome sometimes presents like preeclampsia, and other times just like regular pregnancy symptoms. On top of that, there’s little you can do to prevent it. What can you do instead of worrying? Melissa Krawecki is here to bring awareness, and share her story. Check it out!


To listen here, click the play button on the player above, or click the button below to listen in iTunes.

go to iTunes


What we talked about:

  • What the hell is HELLP syndrome?
  • How is it different than preeclampsia?
  • How common are HELLP and preeclampsia?
  • Melissa’s personal story with HELLP
  • Symptoms of HELLP
  • There’s no shame in “inconveniencing” your  careproviders
  • Coping with different levels of trauma
  • The importance of involving traumatized patients in their own care
  • Permission to survive, permission to grieve
  • Finding purpose from pain
  • EMDR Therapy


This episode is brought to you by Natural Breastfeeding,
and their FREE Quick Start Video. Go watch it at


and also by Megan Othling, of



Resources and links:


[mark]About Melissa Krawecki[/mark]

Melissa is an author, advocate, wife and mother of two children, one living and one deceased.  She  has used grief to propel her work as a blogger (AvasTree.com) and author of the published book “In the Shade of Ava’s Tree” published with Praeclarus Press in 2015. She works alongside the bereaved in honoring grief as well as teaching birth workers about loss and birth trauma. A PTSD survivor, EMDR advocate and experienced in pregnancy after loss she has created the “Navigating Pregnancy after Loss” and “Supporting the Bereaved” workshops, among others, all tailored toward these experiences. Melissa is a course creator and professor of Thanatology at Fanshawe College,  Melissa facilitates several grief groups and donates her time in her community as co-creator of the Elgin Community Pregnancy, Infant, and Child Loss Peer Support Group. Melissa lives in St. Thomas Ontario with her husband and daughter, remembering Ava always.

Learn more at AvasTree.com.



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Like the music on the podcast?:

Title music:Vibe Aceby Kevin MacLeod, from the Free Music Archive / CC BY (edited for length).

Sponsorship music:Air Hockey Saloon” by Chris Zabriskie, from the Free Music Archive / CC BY (edited for length).

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