Pregnancy is a condition wherein a woman gives birth to a new life. This is also known as gestation. It lasts for around 40 weeks starting from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP). The pregnancy is divided into three trimesters, each trimester consists of three months. Pregnant women should be very careful and take extra care and effort to keep herself happy, have a healthy diet, take her medication including iron and folic acid regularly, avoid alcohol, drugs, and smoking, blood tests and vaccinations and also a regular physical examination by a gynecologist. Some pregnant women can have complications during pregnancy. There are various complications that are common during pregnancy. Let us discuss some of the complications of pregnancy.
• Pain during pregnancy – There can be a pain in your abdomen, legs or even back as there are numerous changes occurring in your body.
• Ectopic pregnancy – This is a condition in which embryo is implanted outside the uterus. It can be due to fallopian tubes getting tighter or more narrow. The causes of ectopic pregnancy are heavy bleeding, severe pelvic pain, dizziness and in some cases it might lead to death also.
• Rh negative disease – Rh factor is determined by the presence of a protein surrounding red blood cells. When the women lack this protein, she is considered as Rh negative. If the mother is Rh-negative and the baby is born Rh positive, then the antibodies are built inside the women against the next Rh positive baby considering it as a foreign material. Thus, during pregnancy, the mother is tested to find out if she has been sensitized.
• Gestational diabetes – Diabetes which begins during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes when the woman’s body is unable to produce enough insulin for glucose metabolism. It usually develops in the second trimester of pregnancy. However, mostly this type of diabetes is treated with diet or insulin but not with pills.
• Low birth weight – If the mother has poor nutrition during pregnancy, there is a risk of delivering a low birth weight baby. Infants who are born low birth weight have a greater risk of respiratory tract infections, blindness, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities and also heart infections.
• Epilepsy – It is a chronic disorder which is characterized by repeated or unpredictable seizures (temporary physiological dysfunction of the brain). Symptoms of epilepsy include a headache, dizziness, confusion, mood swings, fainting, memory loss. Thus, if seizures occur during pregnancy, a number of complications can occur that can affect the baby, slowing down of fetal heart rate, premature separation of the placenta from the uterus, fetal injury, preterm labor, miscarriage can also occur due to trauma that is experienced during seizures.
• Fetal arrhythmia –Abnormal heart rate of the baby is referred to as fetal arrhythmia. The fetal heart should beat about 120 to 160 beats per minute. However, the fetal arrhythmia is a rare complication during pregnancy. This can happen due to high consumption of caffeine.
• Pregnancy induced hypertension/ preeclampsia – High blood pressure that occurs exclusively during pregnancy is known as preeclampsia.
• Abdominal pain – It is a normal symptom during pregnancy as your body is undergoing tremendous changes to accommodate the growing fetus. However, this condition is harmless during pregnancy but one has to be very careful and be educated about the types of pain that occur during pregnancy, which includes round ligament pain, constipation, and flatulence, tightening of stomach muscles, common discomforts caused due to growing uterus. The conditions when abdominal pain is serious and needs attention include ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, placental abruption, urinary tract infection, pregnancy induced hypertension.
• Having cough and cold during pregnancy – Due to pregnancy, your immune system is also affected. Thus, you may have a cold and cough during pregnancy. However, there is no harm to your fetus due to this condition.
• Urinary tract infections (UTI) – Also known as a bladder infection, refers to inflammation caused by bacteria in the urinary tract. As there are changes occurring in the urinary tract during pregnancy, UTI is common in this condition. As the uterus grows in order to accommodate the fetus, the bladder is blocked due to increased weight of uterus as it directly sits on top of the bladder. Further, if UTI is not treated, you might suffer from a kidney infection. This might result in early labor and low birth weight baby.
Other complications of pregnancy include dehydration, hip pain, anemia, postpartum depression, hyperemesis gravidarum, umbilical cord prolapse, blood clots, bleeding, gonorrhoea, sexually transmitted disease, placental abruption, placenta previa, low amniotic fluid levels, intrauterine growth restriction, small for gestational age.
Since pregnancy is a very happy period for a woman who is going to be a mother. However, there are many complications that a mother has to be aware of and taking precautionary steps to prevent the occurrence of any complications. This is a condition where the mother gives birth to a child and also undergoes rebirth for herself as she has to undergo so many changes in her body and if not taken proper care can lead to death.