For some moms-to-be, health problems could be before they get pregnant, while for others, it could be during pregnancy. Sometimes it could even be the body and hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy.
But the good news is that there are ways to manage any problem or pregnancy complications that can occur during trimester of pregnancy.
So, look for any abnormal signs and contact your doctor immediately.
Here are some common pregnancy complications during 9 months, their symptoms, and management.
It refers to the loss of a pregnancy during the initial 20 weeks of pregnancy. It is also known as spontaneous abortion as the body gets rid of the fetus by itself, Similar to procedural abortion.
The majority of miscarriage happens during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Most of the time, the reason for miscarriage is not known. Miscarriage can happen due to chromosomal abnormalities that prevent the normal development of the baby.
It could also be due to physical problems in the mother’s reproductive system that prevents the healthy growth of the baby.
- Vaginal bleeding (commonest symptom)
- Loss of pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness
- Abdominal pain
When a spontaneous abortion occurs within 12 weeks of pregnancy, the tissues pass or dissolve spontaneously, which doesn’t need any management.
However, some might need a minor procedure or medication to help with the clearance of tissues.
It is a form of diabetes that is detected for the first time during pregnancy. If you have this condition, it also means that you may have a higher risk of developing diabetes after pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes is caused because of insulin resistance, a condition where the body cells do not respond to insulin as well as they should.
In most cases, it doesn’t cause any noticeable symptoms. If present, they could be:
- Excess thirst
- Frequent urination
- Increased appetite
Besides, in most cases, the mother gives birth to a healthy baby. However, sometimes it may cause a larger-than-normal baby or birth injuries.
Some other risks for the baby include:
- Respiratory distress syndrome
- Low blood sugar levels
- Low mineral levels
Gestational diabetes can be mainly managed by marinating sugar levels and dietary changes. In some cases, medications might be required to manage glucose levels. The primary goal is to maintain the mother’s blood glucose level under control.
Anemia during Pregnancy
Anemia is a condition where the red blood cells are not enough to carry oxygen to the body tissues. As the tissues do not get enough oxygen, their functions are affected. It is critical a pregnancy complications, as it may result in premature birth, low birth weight, and maternal mortality.
- Pale skin, nails, and lips
- Chest pain
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
Anemia during pregnancy can be easily managed by adding iron and other vitamin supplements.
Bleeding During Pregnancy
Bleeding is not a condition but a symptom of an underlying condition. It can be associated with different things depending on the stage of the pregnancy.
In the first trimester of pregnancy, it could be a sign of ectopic pregnancy complications or miscarriage. In the early second trimester, it could again be a sign of miscarriage. While in the third trimester of pregnancy, it may indicate placental abruption
Associated symptoms depend on the cause and can be:
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
Usually, the egg is implanted in the uterus (womb). However, in certain cases, it may start growing outside the uterus, most commonly in the fallopian tube. As the space is not sufficient for adequate nurturing, the fetus is unable to grow.
Some causes of ectopic pregnancy complications include scarring of the fallopian tube from a previous sexually transferred disease or endometriosis, a condition where the uterine lining grows elsewhere in the body.
- Severe pain in the lower abdomen
- Internal bleeding
The fetus will not survive an ectopic pregnancy complications. Medication and/or surgery, along with regular monitoring of the mother’s reproductive system by a gynecologist, is also important.
Low-lying Placenta (Placenta Previa)
Placenta Previa or a low-lying placenta is a rare complication where the placenta is low-lying and completely or partially covers the cervix. It usually occurs during the second or third trimester of pregnancy.
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Maternal Shock
The good news about the condition is that it is recognized early in most cases. This condition requires frequent monitoring and corrects itself without any intervention.
Transfusion may be required to manage bleeding. Your doctor will also plan a C-section depending on the condition.
In this condition, the placenta partially or completely separates from the womb before the baby’s birth.
As the placenta is detached, the baby cannot get adequate oxygen and nutrients. The placental abruption mainly occurs during the third trimester of pregnancy. It can be complete or incomplete abruption.
Some common causes include physical trauma to the placenta or high blood pressure. It also depends on the nature and number of previous pregnancies. The higher the number, the greater is the risk of placental abruption.
Further, a history of previous placental abruption increases the risk in coming pregnancy. Drug use and cigarette smoking can also increase the risk of placental abruption.
- Abdominal contractions
- Vaginal Bleeding
- Abdominal pain
In cases of partial abruption, close monitoring and bed rest may be recommended if the fetus has reached its maturity. In certain cases, transfusions or other emergency treatment may also be required.
However, in cases of complete abruption, delivery is the safest form of management. If the fetus is stable, vaginal delivery can be possible. But in cases of severe bleeding or fetal distress, cesarean delivery would be required.
Preterm labor is labor occurring after 20 weeks but before 37 weeks of pregnancy. The majority of the cases labor and birth occurs spontaneously. However, in some cases, it may occur as a complication to the baby or the mother.
Some risk factors include:
- An incompetent cervix
- Uterine fibroids
- Urinary tract infections
- Inappropriate prenatal care
- History of preterm labor or multiple abortions
- Uterine contraction with dilation of the cervix OR
- Uterine contraction with thinning out of the cervix
Preterm labor needs immediate attention. The mother may be put on bed rest are medications to stop the contractions. In severe cases, the delivery may be needed.
Preeclampsia and Eclampsia
This condition involves high protein levels in the urine and high blood pressure. Although it usually occurs 20 weeks after gestation, it can happen at any stage of the pregnancy or even after delivery.
- Temporary loss of vision or blurred vision
- Severe headaches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swelling of hands and face
- Sudden weight gain
- Decreased urine output
- Upper abdominal pain
In the majority of the cases, preeclampsia will not affect the baby’s health. However, in some cases, it can prevent the placenta from receiving adequate blood supply.
Some complications for the baby include:
- Low birth weight
- Breathing problems
- Preterm birth
- Slow growth
- Placental Abruption
In severe cases, preeclampsia results in eclampsia, where hypertension results in seizures.
The primary goal of management is to prevent the disease from progressing and delivery of the baby.
Your healthcare professional will discuss the benefits and risks of treatment used from time to time, ensuring the safety of the mother and baby.
Medications to manage blood pressure and corticosteroids to help the baby’s lung mature and prepare it for early delivery.
Medications to manage seizures may also be required, as it may cause various complications for the baby and the mother.
Abnormal Amniotic Fluid Levels
The amniotic fluid acts as a cushion to keep the baby safe from any injury. It also maintains the temperature in the uterus. So, having too much or too little amniotic fluid can alter some functions of the uterus.
The low amniotic fluid prevents the normal development of limbs, digestive system, muscles, and lungs.
In most cases, excess amniotic fluid doesn’t cause any problem. However, if it too much, it can cause:
- Placental abruption
- Premature rupture of amniotic membranes
- Preterm delivery and labor
- Postpartum hemorrhage
Too much or too little amniotic fluid is usually detected during the second trimester of pregnancy when the baby learns to breathe and might such amniotic fluid.
To manage too little amniotic fluid, the saline solution could be introduced into the amniotic fluid to prevent the risk of injury to the child’s organ during delivery or compression.
For excess amniotic fluid, medications that lower fluid production is used. In some cases, excess amniotic fluid is drained
However, if either treatment is ineffective, cesarean delivery or induced labor could be needed.
Pregnancy complications can affect the mother or the baby. But the good news is that they can be managed with timely intervention. So, in case of any symptoms or doubts, consult your doctor immediately. In case of detected pregnancy complications, you can also discuss the benefits and risks of the treatment with your doctor.
Latest posts by Dr Kinjal Shah (see all)
- Premature Greying of Hair, Everything Answered in FAQs - August 31, 2020
- Postpartum Care – Healing Time for Mothers Post Pregnancy - August 22, 2020
- Avoid Pregnancy Complications for Healthy Baby; Trimester of Pregnancy - August 19, 2020