Pregnancy Complications Every Woman Should Know About

Every woman’s journey through pregnancy is unique. Sometimes that can involve a few little hurdles along the way. It is important not to fear pregnancy complications but to make yourself aware of them so that you’re able to spot warning signs early and get the help you and your baby need.

Remember, many of the more worrying pregnancy complications are also quite rare - so the chances of you having them are slim. If you do have a concern about something you’re experiencing, err on the side of caution and see your doctor right away.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

A form of severe morning sickness, Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a pregnancy complication that can leave you feeling extremely nauseous most of the time. It can bring on repeated bouts of vomiting which may leave you dehydrated, diminish your appetite, cause electrolyte imbalances, and result in weight loss. It may start up in weeks 4-8 of your pregnancy and goes away by weeks 16-18, sometimes earlier.

Gestational Diabetes

You may develop gestational diabetes in the 2nd or 3rd trimesters. Affected mums-to-be experience high blood sugar or glucose levels as the body is unable to keep pace with the growing insulin needs.

Preeclampsia

This pregnancy-linked complication cropping up after week 20 must be taken very seriously. The high blood pressure from this problem can even strike women who’ve otherwise had normal BP levels. Besides headaches, vision problems, nausea, decreased urine output, and shortness of breath, it can also cause kidney and liver problems and may result in a drop in your platelet count and may be dangerous for both you and your baby if not managed properly.

Placenta Previa

If the placenta covers your cervix either completely (complete placenta previa) or partially (partial placenta previa), instead of being attached to the top of your uterus. Placenta previa can cause severe bleeding during pregnancy and delivery.. An ultrasound scan will help diagnose the issue.

Placental Abruption

This is a relatively uncommon pregnancy complication where the placenta detaches either completely or partially from the uterine wall. This can adversely affect the supply of both nutrients and oxygen to the baby. You may experience heavy bleeding or just intermittent vaginal bleeding when this happens or feel sudden abdominal and back pain. See a doctor right away.

Anaemia

If your body operates with less than the required number of healthy red blood cells, it can give you the tell-tale symptoms of pregnancy-linked anaemia. You might feel more fatigued than other expectant moms (who are already fairly exhausted) or experience weakness. Thankfully, this can be remedied with iron and folic acid supplements that your gynaecologist will be able to prescribe.

Depression

If you’re feeling extremely low or sad, helpless, irritable, or considering self-harm, you may be depressed. Even things like appetite changes or mood swings can warn you of this mental health problem during pregnancy. Perinatal depression (either during pregnancy or in the year following the birth)affects 1 in 5 women on average, so remember, you are not alone in this.

UTIs And Other Infections

Don’t treat any kind of infection too lightly when you have a baby on board. A seemingly routine UTI(urinary tract infection) or STI(sexually transmitted infection) could even result in birth defects, low birth weight, preterm labour, and even miscarriage or stillbirth. Ensure you've had all your vaccines and get tested for any infections you’re worried you might have. Even if you are infected, drug treatment is often an option to help you and your infant. The sooner it is detected and treated, the better.

Preterm Labour

If you go into labour before you hit the 37-week mark, it is preterm labour. The risk of delivering a baby earlier than 40 weeks is that some of the brain and lung development isn’t done yet, so your baby may have more health problems if he/she arrives too soon. Medication and bedrest can help delay the birth if you begin to experience symptoms of labour like cramping, pelvic pressure, abdominal/back pain, or contractions.

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