Pregnancy is very complex and women that are pregnant should know all the complications that they can face so they would know what to do in case things go south.
Most of the pregnancies these days happen without having any complications, however, some women that do get pregnant are going to experience complications that can involve their own health, the health of the baby, and on rare occasions, both.
The thing is, early detection of the complications in pregnancy can help the mother and the baby to avoid any serious problems.
What are the most common complications for women while they are pregnant?
Some of the most common complications of pregnancy are:
- high blood pressure
- gestational diabetes
- preterm labor
- a loss of pregnancy
Who is most likely to experience these complications?
Women with ongoing health problems and conditions are more likely to experience pregnancy complications. So, if you do have ongoing health problems try to talk with your doctor so they can tell you what to avoid and what to take so you can minimize the chances of getting complications during pregnancy.
If you have the following illnesses already, you are likely to face complications when you are pregnant:
- high blood pressure
- sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV
- kidney problems
Not only health problems but there are other factors that also increase your risk for facing pregnancy complications too.
Here are the other factors that increase the risk of getting complications while you are pregnant:
- being pregnant at age 35 or older
- being pregnant at a young age
- having an eating disorder
- smoking cigarettes
- using illegal drugs
- drinking alcohol
- having a history of pregnancy loss or preterm birth
- carrying multiples, such as twins or triplets
When to call the doctor or seek medical help?
If you are experiencing the things that we are going to mention below, you want to call your doctor right away:
- bleeding from the vagina
- sudden swelling of the hands
- swelling of the face
- pain in the abdomen
- high fever
- persistent fever
- severe headaches
- persistent vomiting
- blurred vision
Also, if you are noticing that your baby is not moving that often in your belly, you want to your doctor right away. That may be a sign of something serious.
Some of the most common pregnancy and labor complications
1. High blood pressure
The blood pressure of our body increases when the arteries that carry blood from the heart to the organs of our body and the placenta become narrow. High blood pressure is associated with a higher risk of many complications, which includes heart attacks and strokes. Not only that, but in pregnant women, preeclampsia can also occur.
What is preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication that is characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, most often the liver and kidneys. Preeclampsia usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women whose blood pressure had been normal.
2. Gestational diabetes
Another complication that may arise when you are pregnant is elevated blood sugar in the bloodstream, this happens when the body of a pregnant woman fails to process sugars effectively.
According to CDC.gov, “your blood sugar levels will usually return to normal after your baby is born. However, about 50% of women with gestational diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes. You can lower your risk by reaching a healthy body weight after delivery.”
3. Preterm labor
Preterm labor happens when you go into labor before the 37th week of pregnancy. The bad part for this one is that this happens before the organs of the baby, which includes lungs and the brain, are not yet fully developed.
Infections are also common when you are pregnant.
Some of the most common infections that you might get when you are pregnant includes:
- the flu
- vaginal yeast infections
- uterine infections
- group B streptococcus
- bacterial vaginosis
Remember, you can get this infection yourself or you can get it from other incidents.
Here are some symptoms that you might get when you have an infection:
- Fever (this is sometimes the only sign of an infection)
- Chills and sweats
- Change in cough or a new cough
- Sore throat or new mouth sore
- Shortness of breath
- Nasal congestion
- Stiff neck
- Burning or pain with urination
5. Placenta previa
Placenta previa happens when a baby’s placenta partially or totally covers the cervix of the mother, which is the outlet for the uterus.
The placenta previa can cause severe bleeding during pregnancy and delivery, meaning you might bleed throughout your pregnancy and during your delivery if you have this type of complication. To avoid any further complications, doctors usually perform a cesarean delivery if this is the case.
Anemia results from a lack of red blood cells or dysfunctional red blood cells in the body. This leads to reduced oxygen flow to the body’s organs.
Symptoms may include:
- skin pallor
- shortness of breath
- fast heartbeat
Anemia during pregnancy can cause your baby to not grow to a healthy weight, meaning that your baby has a chance of arriving in this world at a low birth weight.
The good thing is that this one is detectable at early pregnancy stages. Anemia is usually found during a routine blood test for hemoglobin or hematocrit levels. Treatment depends on the type of anemia and how bad it is.
Doctors can suggest you take supplements of iron and folic acid during your pregnancy.
A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy during the first 20 weeks.
The APA (American Pregnancy Association) believes that the most common cause of miscarriage is a genetic abnormality in the embryo. However, there are other factors that can also cause miscarriage.
Some of them include:
- Thyroid disorders
- Immunological disorders
- Drug abuse
- Blood clotting
People may experience:
Pain areas: in the abdomen, lower back, or pelvis
Groin: vaginal bleeding, uterine contraction, or vaginal discharge
Gastrointestinal: nausea or vomiting
Other symptoms: cramping, irregular uterine bleeding, or fatigue
Other factors that can possibly increase your risk of miscarriage include:
- Maternal trauma
- Certain medication
- Advanced maternal age (over 35)
- Air pollution
- High fever
8. Labor complications
Remember, complications can also happen during labor and delivery itself. So, if there is a problem during labor, your doctor may have to come up with another approach fort the delivery itself.
- Failure to progress
- Fetal distress
- Perinatal asphyxia
- Shoulder dystocia
- Excessive bleeding
- Placenta previa
- Cephalopelvic disproportion
To know more about the complications that you might face when you are pregnant, talk with your doctor.
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