Beyonce opens up her difficult pregnancy and remarkable recovery from an emergency C-section jut 10 months before her iconic 2018 Coachella performance in her new documentary, Homecoming
Beyonce has revealed the harrowing pregnancy complications she suffered while carrying and delivering her twins, Rumi and Sir, in her new documentary, Homecoming.
The singer opened up about preeclampsia, a high blood pressure condition that is 60 percent more common among black women than white women in the US.
Due in part to the dangerous condition, black women like Beyonce are at a four-fold greater risk of dying in childbirth.
The new documentary includes new details about the life-threatening difficulties the 37-year-old star while carrying twins just months before the iconic 2018 Coachella performance that Homecoming documents.
Beyonce had actually planned on performing at Coachella in 2017, but that all changed when she got pregnant with Rumi and Sir, she revealed in Homecoming.
While she remained active during her pregnancy with Blue Ivy, Beyonce explains in the film that she had to be on bed rest for a month before her twins were born in 2017 because her blood pressure had climbed so dangerously high.
Preeclampsia affects between three and eight percent of pregnancies – but it is far more common among black women in the US.
About 43 out of every 1,000 white women who deliver babies has high blood pressure.
Sir and Rumi had to be delivered by emergency C-section, a major surgery that Beyonce had to recover from in just 10 months before her 2018 Coachella performance
But nearly 70 out of every 1,000 black women that give birth suffer the condition.
Although some health conditions can put women at higher risk of preeclampsia, but it can develop those in perfect health, like Beyonce, too.
It tends to affect first pregnancies, young women or those over 40 and women who are carrying multiple babies.
When a woman becomes pregnant, new blood vessels have to grow to supply the nourishing, protective sac, the placenta, that supports the growth of a baby.
But sometimes these blood vessels don’t develop properly. As a result, the heart has to work harder to pump blood through these narrow passageways, raising a woman’s blood pressure.
Her pressure typically doesn’t exceed normal levels consistently until after 20 weeks of pregnancy, but the best solution is to deliver the baby – or, in Beyonce’s case, babies – as early as possible.
As the body works in overdrive to pump blood to the placenta, the other organs begin to suffer. Often, the kidneys are hit first, causing excess protein in the urine.
Some women may also have sever headaches and belly pain, become nauseous or short of breath, notice changes in their vision or suddenly swell or gain weight.
Delaying delivery can further distress both mother and baby, so pregnant women who develop preeclampsia too soon to deliver have to try to minimize their stress and activity.
In Beyonce’s case, this meant a month of bed rest for singer, whose schedule is typically jam-packed.
Even so, the complications started to affect the twins Beyonce was carrying.
Preeclampsia can lead to premature babies or babies with low birth weights.
It can also reduce the amount of blood and oxygen the baby gets and, in turn, the baby’s heart rate may slow down.
This may have been why one of Beyonce’s twins’ hearts seemed to ‘stop’ temporarily – or at least slow down enough to appear momentarily still.
Beyonce announced her pregnancy with the twins in 2017 via an internet-breaking Instagram portrait. Her second pregnancy would prove to be far more complicated than the first
As a result, the 37-year-old had to
‘My body went through more than I knew it could,’ she says in Homecoming.
While Beyonce’s first pregnancy with Blue Ivy was relatively straightforward, the second was anything but.
‘I had an extremely difficult pregnancy,’ she says.
It’s not an uncommon complication, but combined with Beyonce’s preeclampisa, it was enough for doctors to rush her into an emergency C-section.
In a previous Vogue interview, Beyonce said that ‘after the C-section, my core felt different. It had major surgery.’
Ultimately, Rumi and Sir were healthy once the C-section was over.
But Beyonce reveals in Homecoming that her body had changed drastically.
‘I was 218 pounds the day I gave birth,’ she says.
She also previously told Vogue that her organs had been ‘shifted temporarily’ and she ‘needed time to heal, to recover.’
‘During my recovery, I gave myself self-love and self-care, and I embraced being curvier.’
Still, the international star didn’t wait long to get back to preparing for the 2018 Coachella – while caring for her new born twins and Blue Ivy.
Her return to the stage as the first woman of color ever to headline Coachella would go down in history as one of the greatest performances in the festival’s history, but the road there wasn’t easy.
‘In the beginning there were so many muscle spasms and just internally, my body was not connected,’ Beyonce says in Homecoming.
‘My mind was not there. My mind wanted to be with my children. What people don’t see is the sacrifice.’
These spasms were likely signs of her body’s attempt to recover from her C-section, a procedure which required doctors to cut through the abdominal muscles.
But, Beyonce pushed through her aches pains and recovery.
And just 10 months after her grueling childbirth, she was giving (arguably) the performance of her life, now immortalized in Homecoming.