Postpartum Program

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If you had been diagnosed with preeclampsia, eclampsiagestational hypertension, or gestational diabetes, contact us

We can work together to reduce your risk of future cardiovascular disease and its risk factors.
Check out some of our results!

Pregnancy is often described as a “stress test” that helps identify women who are at risk of developing chronic diseases later in life. Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) (i.e., preeclampsia, eclampsia and gestational hypertension) and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are the two most common medical complications of pregnancy, both of which were once thought to resolve after delivery of the child.

We now know that these conditions carry serious implications for a woman’s long-term health.  Women with HDP represent one of the highest-risk populations for premature cardiovascular disease.

For many women with HDP, their first cardiovascular event occurs at a mean age of 38 years old1.  A woman who experiences GDM will go on to have a seven-fold increased risk of permanent type 2 diabetes later in life; a major risk factor for future cardiovascular disease2.

Nicole's Story

To address this important clinical problem, we adapted our CardioPrevent® program to support high-risk women postpartum.  CardioPrevent is a heart health program that helps people with risk factors lower their chances of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The program accepts individuals who are at moderate to high risk for CVD. Participation requires a referral by a physician or nurse practitioner, and results are shared with the referring physician to support coordination of care.

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 *Actual score for program entry determined based on results from physician referral

How it works

Outreach Facilitators work with postpartum clinics to introduce systematic processes to screen women who are at risk of premature cardiovascular disease due to pregnancy complications who can then be linked into the CardioPrevent Program.  

These women will undergo a full risk factor screening, receive tailored education and programming supported by behavioral-based counseling, frequent follow-ups, and referral and community resource linkages when required.  

During the year-long program, CardioPrevent health coaches will guide and support you through a customized program plan that is based on your personal risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

chart providing step by step process

mature woman participant

"My health coach was so helpful in providing me with extra information (healthy recipes, workout info, etc.) and I felt supported the entire time while in the program. I feel healthy and confident that I can maintain the healthy lifestyle. The information and support provided was invaluable!" – Program Participant



The Postpartum Program is available for women who:

  • Have a referral from a physician or nurse practitioner. Download the referral form.
  • Have no known cardiovascular disease
  • Have had a pregnancy complicated by severe preeclampsia, non-severe preeclampsia, gestation hypertension and/or gestational diabetes within the past year
  • Are 18 years of age or older


Interested in learning more about the Postpartum Program? Download our program brochure (coming soon).

  • Have your doctor or nurse complete the referral form and fax to the Prevention and Wellness Centre at 613-696-7194.
  • For more information call the Prevention and Wellness Centre at 613-696-7071 or 1-866-399-4432. We can also be reached via e-mail at


Pregnancy offers a unique window through which women at risk of future cardiovascular disease may be identified.  For healthcare providers interested in a systematic process to screen and identify at-risk women and link them to a personalized primary prevention program, contact us.

Contact Us

For more information call the Prevention and Wellness Centre at 613-696-7071 or 1-866-399-4432, we can also be reached via e-mail at

University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Prevention and Wellness Centre
40 Ruskin Street, Room H2353
Ottawa, Ontario
K1Y 4W7
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1 Ray JG, Vermeulen MJ, Schull MJ and Redelmeier DA. Cardiovascular health after maternal placental syndromes (CHAMPS):  population-based retrospective cohort study. Lancet. 2005;366:1797-1803

2 Garcia M, Mulvagh SL, Merz CN, Buring JE, Manson JE. Cardiovascular Disease in Women: Clinical Perspectives. Circ Res. 2016 Apr 15;118(8):1273-93