In honor of American Heart Month, Nonstop Management founder Jaime Zeluck-Hindlin relates how surviving a heart-health scare during her pregnancy and birth of her daughter, Kate, led her to finally take control of her own career.

There I was, one day in August 2017, eight months postpartum, having barely been able to even hold my daughter Kate since her birth, let alone raise her in what I had come to envision as a normal way. I’d been too sick — the result of pregnancy-related heart failure. Or more specifically, peripartum cardiomyopathy, a rare form of heart failure that happens during pregnancy. I nearly died.

As a result, in the months that followed her birth, I couldn’t give Kate what she needed. Because I needed help. I couldn’t be alone with her. I couldn’t drive her around in the car like all other moms. I had to have people with me all the time to help hold her and feed her and basically care for her in all the ways most moms are able to. And yet, on that August day, alone for a change, and with nothing but my thoughts for what felt like the first time in ages, I could only smile.

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