Pregnancy Complications: 9 Common Complications to Watch Out for

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There is no experience more beautiful than becoming a mother. Childbirth is the end of the road when you have completed the journey from conception to labor. The long road involves some health complications, which in the process can be harmful for both you and your baby. You have to deal with these complications immediately to ensure a healthy delivery.

These health complications are a warning sign for you and your child. You cannot risk ignoring any symptoms of a health complication, as it will affect your chances of successful conception. Let us look at the potential health complications in pregnancy, and the methods for preventing them:

9 Health Problems in Pregnancy

♠ Miscarriage

miscarriage bleeding
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According to research, more than 10% of the pregnancies fail due to miscarriages with a high probability of occurrence in the first 12 weeks. A miscarriage can be the hardest situation for you to accept. The risk of miscarriage is highest during the first five months of pregnancy. When facing a miscarriage, you can suffer from other various issues, which also include some mental health issues. Depending upon numerous factors, you can miscarry during the first three months as well.

A number of different factors contribute to the risk of miscarriage. The first factor is the development of the child’s growth. This phase can be quite challenging and painful for both you and the fetus. Chromosomal disorders can also lead to first-trimester miscarriages. Chromosomal disorders usually occur in the fertilized egg, which can cause the embryo to stop growing, and resulting in the loss of pregnancy.

Vaginal bleeding is a common indicator that you are at risk of miscarriage. If you spot even a little bit of blood, you should consult your healthcare provider right away. If your doctor sees any symptoms that can lead to a miscarriage, he/she will conduct an ultrasound. This test evaluates the happenings inside the uterus. Depending on the result, the doctor might also ask you to take a blood test.

The ultrasound identifies if the embryo has a normal heartbeat or not. If there is no heartbeat despite a regular embryo size, this might mean your embryo is dead. In this situation, you might continue to bleed. To tackle this issue, you might need to undergo another ultrasound. Another sign of miscarriage is abdominal pain. The pain you might feel after some bleeding might be similar to normal back pain. You should immediately report your discomfort to your doctor.

You can take some measures to reduce the risk of a miscarriage, such as consuming a nutrient-rich fertility diet. You should consider consuming more Vitamin E enriched foods, folic acids, minerals and selenium as well. An abdominal massage with extreme care can also be a good remedy for preventing a miscarriage.

♠ Mid-Cycle Bleeding

This is another early pregnancy complication. Mid-cycle bleeding occurs due to the usual early vaginal bleeding. This complication can arise during all three cycles of pregnancy. You are at greater risk of this complication if you smoke or consume alcohol on a regular basis. In addition, you have to be wary of this condition if you are carrying an STI or are vulnerable to inflammation.

This complication is not dangerous as compared to other complications but you should take it seriously nonetheless. You should always wear pads or tampons to avoid any causes, which might inflict unpredictable damages on you and your baby. In case of excessive bleeding, it would be better to consult a suitable doctor or midwife to assist you.

♠ Untimely Labor and Birth

Untimely Labor and Birth
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Also known as premature labor or preterm labor, untimely labor and birth can be quite a complication during the latter stages of your pregnancy. If your labor starts three weeks before your due date, it is time you start worrying about preterm labor. Women at the greatest risk of premature labor and birth are the ones who smoke, use drugs, have diabetes, or are carrying twins.

[Related: Breastfeeding a Premature Baby]

There are several symptoms of untimely labor and birth. A common indicator of this complication is contractions that occur every 10 to 15 minutes. Other symptoms include cramping, fluid leakage, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The basic way to identify this complication is if you have regular contractions and you feel your cervix keeps opening and thinning out.

If this happens before you reach 37 weeks of your pregnancy, this could lead to a premature birth.  A premature birth can be extremely risky for your baby. Untimely birth can affect your child’s life expectancy. In case you develop a serious medical condition due to preterm labor before 37 weeks, your doctor might recommend a cesarean section. There is a slight chance that the contractions you are suffering from might be due to false labor, also known as Braxton Hicks contractions.

Certain medical screening tests can help prevent preterm birth and labor. Measuring cervix length with the help of ultrasound is the first way to know if there are abnormalities in your cervix. Fetal fibronectin screening is another way to determine the symptoms of premature labor and birth.

A few precautions can help you prevent this complication. You need to stay away from stressful situations and get sufficient bed rest. You also need to overcome any unhealthy habits, such as smoking or consuming alcohol. You should also stick to a healthy diet and avoid eating junk or processed foods.

♠ Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia
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Preeclampsia is a serious medical condition, which, according to statistics, affects about 5% of pregnant women. High blood pressure and kidney aberrations are common indicators of the risk of preeclampsia. If your urine has high protein content, this could also indicate that you are at risk of this complication. In this situation, you should consult your doctor immediately. The main concern about this complication is it spreads quickly if you don’t take proper care at the early stage.

[Read More:Preeclampsia During Pregnancy]

The complication can occur within the first 5 months of your pregnancy period with most women showing signs of the problem when their due date is around the corner. You can identify the common symptoms of preeclampsia with ease. These symptoms include swelling of your face alongside inflammation under your eyes.  If you notice your hands are swelling and suddenly your feet start swelling, which then leads to an unusual weight increase, it is time you take the necessary measures.

This is because preeclampsia is a life threatening complication, which requires careful evaluation from your doctor. If you have difficulty in breathing and you start vomiting in the second or third trimester, you might be entering the early stages of preeclampsia. Blurry vision or extreme abdominal pain is also an indication that you need to see a suitable doctor immediately.

There are several stages of the treatment for preeclampsia, and the treatment depends on the severity of your condition. Firstly, your doctor will check your blood pressure at periodic intervals. Secondly, you have to submit multiple urine samples. The lab will check the protein level in your urine. You will require constant monitoring if the condition is less complicated than expect. At this time, you will have to restrict your movement and get sufficient bed rest. You also have to undergo regular checkups, ultrasound procedures, regular blood tests and other important procedures.

If the condition turns out be severer than expected, there is a high chance that you might have to stay in the hospital for the remaining duration of your pregnancy. At the hospital, your medical team will regularly monitor your condition with daily tests. The tests ensure that you and your baby are healthy.  Your doctor might also suggest a rushed delivery in order to prevent the symptoms of preeclampsia.

♠ OligohydramniosOligohydramnios

Oligohydramnios, also known as low amniotic fluid, is a common pregnancy complication. If you feel you are having kidney development issues along with difficulty in urine production, there’s a high probability that you are dealing with oligohydramnios. According to various reports from the March of Dimes, about 4% of the pregnant women face this complication, which means having low fluid levels during their third trimester.

A deficiency in amniotic fluid values is a major disadvantage. This is because amniotic fluid offers numerous health benefits. These benefits include protection against potential infections, maintaining an invariable temperature in your womb protects your baby from pain through bumps and helps in the growth of your baby. You are most likely to face this complication if you are dealing with hypertension alongside preeclampsia. This condition can also lead to low amniotic fluid values. Fetal disorders, twin pregnancy and even a placenta problem are symptoms of oligohydramnios.

Your doctor might suggest certain measures to reduce the risk of this complication. If you are near the due date, your doctor might opt for labor induction. In case of a severe condition, you might have to opt for an early delivery. This is because a significant decrease in the amniotic fluid levels can cause your baby’s movements and your contractions to constrict the umbilical cord. A flexible catheter is the solution for this situation, which your doctor will use for pumping in a salty solution to reduce compression.

Your treatment might also involve various ultrasound sessions, close monitoring and various blood tests to ensure you have a healthy baby.

♠ Placenta Previa

 Placenta Previa
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A pregnancy complication that develops over time, placenta previa can be quite harmful for both you and your baby. If your placenta is lying unusually lower in the uterus, this indicates you might be in the early stages of placenta previa. The condition can cause excessive bleeding which in turn leads to other potentially harmful health issues. The position of your placenta will indicate the stage of this complication. For instance, if the placenta is completely covering the cervix, you are at the last stage of previa.

If the placenta is on the edge, this indicates secondary previa. A low-lying previa is when the placenta is not yet on the borderline of the cervix. To know the position of the placenta, you have to undergo an ultrasound procedure during the transitional stage of your pregnancy. Depending on the severity of your condition, you might have to get an ultrasound at multiple stages. The occurrence of placenta previa in the first trimester stage is nothing to worry about, as once you get the early treatment, the distance between the cervix and previa increases, and that is a good sign.

During your second and third trimester, you have to go through regular ultrasound procedures in case of unexpected vaginal bleeding, which can later cause further complications for your health.

The ratio of occurrence of placenta previa is once every 200 pregnancies. In case of severe conditions, it is better to avoid physical exercises, which might lead to bleeding. In this situation, your doctor might suggest that you get a c-section to prevent the placenta bleeding. Your doctor might take some risky steps at this stage to ensure a healthy delivery. You may have to wait for your labor period to start, which ensures normal growth for the fetus.

♠ Gestational DiabetesGestational Diabetes

This common pregnancy complication affects about 6% of pregnant women. Certain conditions can cause an unexpected yet significant increase in your blood sugar level. If you have certain conditions, such as high blood pressure, birth defects, obesity problems or a family history of diabetes, you can be at risk of gestational diabetes.

Lack of adequate care if you have gestational diabetes can prove fatal for your baby. The baby will be at a high risk of injury if you develop this complication. Moreover, your baby’s blood sugar levels can be unstable, which is a situation you do not want to face. It is advisable that you get glucose screening tests on a regular basis. Following a healthy lifestyle along with maintaining your weight at a healthy level can help you prevent this complication.

Gestational diabetes mainly occurs if your pancreas is unable to control the need for more insulin in your body. During pregnancy, there is an increased demand for glucose for the development of your baby. If you develop gestational diabetes, there are certain steps you can take on your own to prevent any harm. An organized and structured exercise plan supervised by a professional is a good way to start.

You should also stick to a healthy diet that comprises of whole grains, proteins, and veggies. In addition, you should opt for foods that have a low glycemic index and make you feel full. You can also opt for medication to control your condition. You can take anti-hyperglycemic medicines and insulin injections, An insulin injection is one of the most common ways to deal with diabetes but it is better that you consult your doctor before you opt for it.

♠ Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic Pregnancy

A form of pregnancy in which the fetus unexpectedly grows outside the uterus, ectopic pregnancy affects one in every 50 pregnant women. Since this complication is most likely to develop in the fallopian tubes, it is also referred to as tubal pregnancy. You have to seek immediate treatment for this potentially fatal complication to avoid any internal bleeding, which can harm your health and your baby’s health as well. Once the condition turns severe, you might need to give up on your pregnancy, which is the last thing you expect at this stage.

There are numerous controllable risk factors for ectopic pregnancies, which include smoking and increased use of harmful contraceptives. Other risk factors include abdominal surgery, PIDs, and gentility problems.  The symptoms of this complication include severe abdominal pain, vaginal spotting, back pain and shoulder pain. Other symptoms include fainting and a racing pulse. You should not ignore any of the possible symptoms of this complication, at any cost.

There are multiple stages of treatment for an ectopic pregnancy. The treatment usually starts with some blood tests and ultrasound procedures, which your doctor will evaluate to determine the future course of treatment. The ultrasound process involves a close examination of your uterus. If your blood test results indicate that at certain hormone hCG level, there is no embryo, there is a slight chance that you are suffering from ectopic pregnancy. If the doctor recognizes a swollen fallopian tube with remains of blood and tissues of the embryo, there is a higher risk of you facing this complication.

The treatment might involve using the drug methotrexate, which helps in increasing the hCG value in your bloodstream. In case the treatment doesn’t work, your doctor might advise you to undergo surgery. The treatment for ectopic pregnancy involves significant risk and requires careful examination by a highly qualified team of doctors.

♠ Mental Illnesses

Pregnant women often seem to illustrate certain mood swings, which can be harmful for both their and their unborn child’s health. Depression is also a common pregnancy complication. Depression can lead to women carrying out drastic measures or conducting activities, which are not suitable for them. In such cases, seeing a psychiatrist is the best course of actions. A number of treatments are available online as well, where you have to pray, meditate, or perform yoga to overcome your anxiety and depression.

Keep in mind that the risk of depression increases as you get near your due date. It is ironic that women feel elated at the birth of their child but can slip into depression soon after. The main cause of this change in mood and mindset is the hormonal changes your body will undergo before, during, and after your pregnancy. Hence, it is important that you be prepared to deal with this complication. Depression can be difficult to deal with during your pregnancy and you have to seek support from your friends and family. Otherwise, there is a chance that you feel too depressed even to take proper care.

The risk of mental illness is greater if you have a family history of depression and other related conditions. If that is the case, you should see a psychiatrist from the moment you find out that you are pregnant. Consulting a professional will help you deal with this development in a way that you don’t feel overwhelmed and can stay calm. You cannot afford to be unusually excited during your pregnancy, as that could lead to your blood pressure shooting up.

Also, if you are unprepared for pregnancy, there is a chance that the news can bring with it a great deal of stress, anxiety, and even depression. Not every woman wants to bear a child and suddenly finding out that you are pregnant can have a devastating impact on your psyche. As mentioned, consulting a professional is the best course of action, as otherwise you risk facing a difficult pregnancy. The nine months can prove too arduous and you might even develop postpartum depression because of it.

Keep the Potential Health Complications in Pregnancy at Bay

Potential Health Complications
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These are some of the most harmful potential health complications you are likely to face during your pregnancy. Do keep in mind that a majority of pregnancies is pain-free and most women don’t face any major complications from conception to delivery. Hence, if you keep a positive mindset, you will be better prepared to deal with the entire process.

Apart from these complications, there are over 40 risks and complications related to pregnancy, which are also harmful. The list of such risks and complications can include severe vomiting, heartburns, constipation and other problems as well.

If not treated properly in the right time, there might be some serious consequences, which can certainly be a lot to take for you. It is important that you seek the help of a professional team of healthcare consultants, which can assist you throughout the pregnancy period, helping you prevent such complications to ensure your baby is born healthy.

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