Dr Girija Wagh, Obstetrician, Gynecologist, IVF expertMD, FICOG, DIP ENDO, FICS
Available24 X 7
Pregnancies are mostly uncomplicated. Yet, it is important for would-be moms to know which serious medical issues are most likely to affect them. We have presented a quick guide to the most common pregnancy complications that will help them in taking better care of themselves and their offspring.
The first people to watch out for the pregnancy complications in the “would-be-moms” are the doctor or the midwife throughout the pregnancy, through physical exams, laboratory tests, and ultrasounds. Meanwhile, it is important to attend all the prenatal appointments and report to the doctor about any troubling pregnancy symptoms.
Every mother-to-be is well aware of the body changes that she goes through during pregnancy. The body changes and other discomforts are part of every pregnancy. Pregnancy and childbirth are a wellness process and not an illness. It is better to catch the potential complications of pregnancy before to reduce the chances of problems and improve the likelihood of a healthy pregnancy. Regular prenatal visits, good nutrition, and habits of physical exercise are important to control common pregnancy complications.
The most common pregnancy complications are:
Nausea and Vomiting: Nausea and vomiting are considered to be a normal part of pregnancy in the first trimester. Vomiting is not harmful unless it is severe enough and causes weight loss or dehydration. Bland food and eating smaller meals instead of large meals helps in controlling vomiting tendency. High protein food and complex carbohydrates consumption also help in avoiding nausea. If severe nausea and vomiting spate is noticed, the doctor should be immediately contacted.
Vaginal Bleeding: About 20 to 30 percent of women suffer from vaginal bleeding in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. 10 percent of women experience vaginal bleeding in the third trimester. Vaginal bleeding is a normal part of pregnancy. It is caused due to the fertilized egg implant in the uterine lining that causes abrupt hormonal changes. Spotting is also a common cause for concern during pregnancy. Sporadic drops of blood are often noticed. It is best to inform the doctor if vaginal bleeding is experienced. It helps in determining and ruling out serious problems. Excessive bleeding associated with pain is immediately evaluated by the doctor.
Early Pregnancy Loss: Early miscarriage usually comes to notice in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Almost 30 percent of women experience this. Many women experience miscarriage even before they realize they are pregnant. A miscarriage occurs as the fertilized egg fails to properly implant in the uterus. It may also happen due to an unhealthy conception, associated with abnormal genes or chromosomes. It is certainly emotionally crying for the mother to cope with her miscarriage, but it is equally important to remember that a miscarriage is an integral part of reproduction. This is, at times, inevitable but with due care experienced gynecologists may help you in preventing the mishap.
Pre-eclampsia: Pre-eclampsia is a type of high blood pressure that occurs in pregnant women during pregnancy and affects every 7 out of 100 pregnant women. It constricts the blood vessels and reduces the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the developing baby. This syndrome usually appears during the second half of pregnancy. Pre-eclampsia is more likely with first pregnancies. It also occurs in multiple births and in women who get pregnant in their teens or are over the age of 35. Other medical conditions like chronic high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disorder increase the risk of developing pre-eclampsia.
Doctors watch for the early signs and symptoms of pre-eclampsia and track its possibilities during the prenatal visits. The diagnosis includes regular blood pressure checkup, urine sample test for protein, and determining any unusual swelling. Pre-eclampsia usually gets cured after delivery. Once the labor is induced and the baby is safely delivered, blood pressure again becomes normal. Doctors give special medical attention to the woman with this syndrome. They try to control the blood pressure in order to make sure that the baby inside the womb is secure. The delivery is fixed only after the blood pressure is brought to normal, and all risks are handled.
Premature labor and birth: Women usually experience regular contractions in their cervix before reaching 37- weeks of pregnancy during their preterm or premature labor. Baby delivered before 37 weeks is called preterm birth. The baby, hence born, is considered premature. About 12 percent of babies are born prematurely.
Preterm birth causes severe health problems in many babies. It can even be fatal for the baby when the birth has happened too early.
Gestational Diabetes: A pregnant woman is typically given oral glucose as a part of their usual prenatal care between the 24th and 28th weeks of their pregnancy. This sometimes increases the level of blood sugar, causing gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes increases childbirth complications by increasing the size of the baby. It increases blood pressure and also increases the chances of diabetes in the newborn baby. Doctors prescribe diet and physical exercises to control this phenomenon of gestational diabetes. In most cases, gestational diabetes is successfully handled by doctors, and no chances of the baby getting affected are left. The blood sugar level returns to normal soon after the delivery. However, such women are more vulnerable to be affected by diabetes in the latter part of their lives.
Low amniotic fluid or oligohydramnios: The amniotic sac filled with fluid protects the baby in the womb and supports its development. When the fluid is too little, it’s called oligohydramnios. According to the March of Dimes, 4 percent of pregnant women experience low levels of amniotic fluid, usually in their third trimester.
When such syndromes are noticed, the doctor follows the pregnancy closely to make sure that the baby continues to grow normally inside the womb. Labor is induced as the mother is near the end of her pregnancy.
Ectopic pregnancy: When the fertilized egg gets implanted outside the uterus, it is called an ectopic pregnancy. A single case of ectopic pregnancy occurs in 50 pregnancies. It is also known as tubal pregnancy, as the majority of ectopic pregnancies occur in a fallopian tube.
It is very important for the doctor to diagnose this type of pregnancy without any delay as the growing embryo has the potentials to rupture the fallopian tube and cause fatal internal bleeding. There is practically no way to transplant the ectopic pregnancy into the uterus. Hence, ending pregnancy remains the only option.
It is best to ensure a healthy pregnancy by focusing on every change of the body, instead of just letting them go. It’s important for would-be moms to take good care of themselves during the 9 months of their pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about every complication that you are facing. Inform her about every minor change that your body is going through. It helps her to recognize your pregnancy complications early and work quickly on them.
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