When you find out that you are pregnant, your emotions and thoughts are likely overwhelming. You can be super excited, emotional, or scared to bring a new person into the world, which sometimes develops anxiety due to fear that anything can go wrong.
Mostly, if a pregnant woman takes care of herself, the pregnancy passes smoothly. However, a total of 8% of pregnancies have the chance of complications that require immediate professional assistance. If left untreated, they can pose a significant threat to the life of the mother and child.
Some complications may exist before the pregnancy, while others can happen unexpectedly and are usually unavoidable. Indeed, it is scary that your pregnancy has complications, but remember early, and proper care is necessary. It manifolds the chances of keeping you and your baby healthy.
If you are wondering what common pregnancy complications you can come across, you are at the right place. This guide aims to discuss some common health problems during pregnancy and how you can avoid them. So, let’s explore!
Who is at the Risk of Complications?
If you are already dealing with chronic illness, you need to talk to a doctor and ask them how to minimize the chances of complications during pregnancy. You can also visit them before conceiving. If you are already conceiving, the healthcare provider will monitor your pregnancy and monitor the baby’s growth.
The most common health conditions which can show effect during pregnancy can include:
- Kidney problems
- Sexually transmitted disease
There are many other factors that increase the chances of pregnancy complications. Such as :
- Using illegal and harmful drugs
- Being pregnant at age 35 or older
- Having a history of miscarriage
- Having an eating disorder
- Carrying multiple babies, such as triplets or twins
What are Common Complications Seen During Pregnancy?
Usually, the common symptoms of pregnancy and normal indications of complications are challenging to figure out. However, many complications of pregnancy are mild and do not progress. Anyhow, if you have any concerns or second thoughts, it is better to communicate with your doctor.
Mostly the complications are treatable, so don’t be afraid of a word complication. Here are certain common complications pregnant women can have:
High Blood Pressure
It is a common condition that happens when the arteries carrying blood which carry blood from the heart to other organs of the body narrow down. It increases the pressure in the arteries.
Pregnancy leads to complications because it becomes difficult for the blood to reach each placenta, which is essential for nourishing the fetus. The reduced flow of blood through the placenta can minimize the speed of a baby’s growth and increase the possibility of premature birth.
Women dealing with hypertension are directed to monitor and control it before getting pregnant. The high blood pressure that occurs during pregnancy is known as gestational hypertension. It happens during the twentieth week of pregnancy and normalizes right after giving birth.
It is another common condition when a mother who has normal diabetes before conceiving develops during pregnancy. Usually, the human body turns the part of food into the sugar known as glucose. It is the main means of energy. After having the meal, the glucose enters the blood providing essential energy to the body.
To store glucose in cells and remove it from the blood, the pancreas releases the hormone insulin in the blood. This condition occurs for two reasons: the pancreas stops releasing hormones at the required level, or the body is not using it normally. It results in excessive glucose accumulation in the blood.
It is necessary to take medicines to control it because if it is left untreated, it can lead to a large baby and increases the risk of cesarean delivery.
It is one of the most serious medical conditions that may lead to premature birth and death. Till now, the causes of preeclampsia are unknown, but some mothers have high risk. The risk-possessing aspects are:
- Preeclampsia in former delivery.
- First pregnancy
- Carrying twins or triplets
- Certain health conditions, such as kidney diseases, high blood pressure, etc.
Preeclampsia is a condition that causes extremely high blood pressure, which becomes life-threatening if left untreated specially for overweight and obese women. This condition is commonly seen in the second trimester, often in women with no prior history of hypertension.
You cannot prevent preeclampsia, but eating and staying healthy can help reduce the chances of complications. Understand the symptoms, such as pain under the ribs, vision changes, headache, and more. If you experience any of these or all together, immediately consult the doctor.
The loss of pregnancy around the 20th week of pregnancy is known as a stillbirth. On Average, in half of the noted cases, the doctors failed to find a potential cause of stillbirth. Anyhow the health conditions which can contribute to this condition include chromosomal abnormalities, poor baby growth, placenta problems, chronic health issues, etc.
Sometimes the miscarriage even occurs before the women know that she is pregnant. The common signs of miscarriage include:
- Fluid or tissues passing from the vagina
- Vaginal bleeding
- Abdominal pain and cramping
In severe cases, miscarriage is not preventable, and sometimes, a woman may have to go through a full operation to remove the remaining tissues of the undeveloped child from the uterus. It can also lead to mental trauma, and good counseling can help heal emotionally.
It is a condition in which a person has a lower number of red blood cells as compared to the normal number in the human body. In case you have anemia, you are likely to feel tired, exhausted, and weaker than usual. The patient can also have pale skin.
There are many causes of anemia, among which poor eating habits are the top. Sometimes the woman herself cannot figure out that she is dealing with anemia, but if you feel these symptoms, it is better to consult the doctor. It includes:
- Shortness of breath
- Feel fainting
- Feel tired as well as the week
- Look pale
Dealing with the main cause of anemia can help restore a large number of healthy red blood cells. Women dealing with pregnancy-related anemia can tackle the condition by increasing their intake of iron and folic acid in the form of food or supplements.
The healthcare providers will keep a check on the folic acid and iron levels to ensure that anemia does not occur again.
There is a wide range of infections that can occur and before, during, and after the pregnancy, which can affect the process. The infections such as STDs seen during pregnancy result in complications for the woman and the baby after birth.
Some infections such as urinary tract infection can pass from the mother to the baby at the time of birth when the baby goes through the birth canal, while others can affect the fetus at the time of pregnancy. Many infections can be prevented as well as treated with the appropriate prenatal, pre-pregnancy as well as postpartum women care.
Some infections during the pregnancy can cause or contribute to:
- Birth defects such as blindness, intellectual disability, blindness, and bone deformities.
- Stillbirth or miscarriage
- Preterm birth or labor, as well as early delivery
- Sickness in the newborn period
- Ectopic pregnancy (a condition in which an embryo implants outside the uterus.)
- Maternal health problems
- Newborn death
- Low birth weight
In case you are willing to conceive, communicate to your healthcare provider about the vaccine or vaccination boosters for chicken pox and rubella before getting pregnant.
Doctors can also give other vaccines, such as flu shots during pregnancy. If you are aware that you have any infection, let your doctor know before getting pregnant to ensure a healthy women and pregnancy.
Early prenatal testing in the pregnancy to detect infection can help figure out if the infection is curable with medications or not. If you realize you have an infection, tell your doctor. Early treatment ensures the good health of the baby and the mother. Healthcare providers will take the necessary steps to make your process smooth.
Hemorrhage or Subchorionic Hematoma
Normal spotting, bleeding as well as subchorionic hematoma is a usual conditions during pregnancy, so you do not need to worry. In case it becomes intense or severe, you should see the doctor immediately.
Spotting is minor bleeding causing few visible drops of blood. On the other hand, bleeding is a heavier flow of blood requiring an immediate call for an emergency checkup. According to conditions, there are serious and normal bleeding which can be triggered by different factors such as:
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Placental abruption
- Placenta previa
- Cervical infections
- Uterine rupture
- Preterm labor
In the situation of hemorrhage, whether it is heavy or light, it is suggested to consult your prenatal specialist. It minimizes the chances of encountering tragic incidents and ceases any panic.
It is one of the most common pregnancy complications. As you get pregnant, the body undergoes many changes in functioning. The heart and blood vessels become more vulnerable as they work harder to provide nutrients to the developing baby. This process adds stress to the body, specifically in the last stages, such as breathing difficulty, fatigue, etc. having heart issues during pregnancy is dangerous because
- The sudden attack may result in death.
- Can cause premature birth
- The baby can develop a congenital heart problem.
- The baby is likely to have a birth defect in the heart
There are three conditions that can happen in terms of heart problems. You are likely to develop heart problems during pregnancy; the pregnancy can disclose undiagnosed heart problems, or the pregnancy can cause severe conditions. Without proper care and timely diagnosis can, severe the condition.
This condition is characterized by damage in the wall of the heart, which can develop during the last stage of pregnancy. Women older than 30 are at a high risk of developing this condition. Moreover, women carrying twins, triplets, etc., and suffering from preeclampsia can also experience this condition.
Congenital Heart Disease
The conceiving women with congenital heart problems will likely face premature birth, stillbirth, and miscarriage. The baby is also vulnerable to developing congenital heart disease. Moreover, there are also chances that people with CHD will have a smooth pregnancy.
It is a condition in which fluid accumulates in the lungs. It usually develops during or after pregnancy. Women the cardiac disease are at a high risk of developing the illness.
Depression and Anxiety
According to a survey, there are minimal cases of women reporting the usual symptoms of depression after childbirth. The anxiety coexists with depression and can affect 43% of women, making it worth considering complications during pregnancy.
This complication can have a significant impact on the mother and the child, but fortunately, these are curable conditions. A woman can conveniently get over depression and anxiety with proper attention from the family.
How Can You Prevent Complications?
Indeed, all complications are not curable as well as preventable, but following simple steps can help promote a smoother process for many women. Sometimes these interventions can help prevent minor complications.
- Maintain a healthy diet for healthy pregnancy
- Consult a doctor to tell your concerns and conditions. Accordingly, he will guide you and give you the proper medicines.
- Quit alcohol consumption and smoking
- Attend routine parental visits to monitor the healthy growth of baby
- Reduce the stress level
Pregnancy is the process of developing a human baby. It makes many changes in women’s bodies, so it is not surprising to experience complications. However, if you face any complications, instead of losing hope, try to figure out a solution.
Without professional assistance and medical care, a woman can prevent complications. All complications are different from each other, but throughout the guide, you must have noticed one common thing: prenatal care. Women are also advised to come to the doctor and discuss their concerns to reduce complication risks. Having a healthy body before pregnancy is the best practice you can do to have a safer and smoother process.
When to Call a Doctor?
During pregnancy, you will see frequent visits. The doctor will plan a schedule that gets intense with time. In the early days, you may have to go to the doctor once a month, but in later months, you will visit the doctor once or twice a week.
If you see any unusual signs, do not wait for an appointment. Rush the hospital if you see:
- Persistent vomiting
- Vaginal bleeding
- Blurred vision
- Sudden swelling in hands
- Severe headaches
- Pain abdomen
You are also directed to consult the doctor if you feel the baby is not moving and showing less movement than usual.
What pregnancy are complications life-threatening?
The mild complications are never life-threatening, but if they get severe, they can pose a serious threat to the life of the mother as well as the baby. The life-threatening complications include
- Pulmonary Embolism
- Extremely high blood pressure
Can Sleeping on Back Cause Stillbirth?
According to a British study, women who nap on their backs during the last months possess a high probability of miscarriage and stillbirth. Changing the postures throughout the night minimizes the chances of miscarriage and stillbirth.
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