Objective. To elicit women's personal understanding of future cardiovascular risk, following a pregnancy complicated by preeclampsia, and to identify the postnatal needs of these women. Methods. Semi-structured interviews with 12 women with a recent history of preeclampsia who had attended a postnatal follow-up clinic. Results. The interviews were held at a median of 47 weeks postpartum (range 24-62 weeks). Family history of cardiovascular disease was associated with a greater awareness of future cardiovascular risk. Women without traditional risk factors found it hard to envisage themselves as being at risk and may not see the relevance of such information. It may take several months after delivery for a woman to be able to fully consider her own health as well as the baby's; a reminder of risk and health information is needed. Conclusions. Although receptive to follow-up, the situational factors of being a new mother need to be taken into account to engage successfully with this patient group. Further research is needed to help clarify the extent to which a history of preeclampsia is an independent factor for future cardiovascular disease to provide a solid foundation for effective risk communication.