Top Five Complications during Pregnancy

by Katelyn Schwanke
(last updated January 27, 2009)

There are a variety of potential complications during pregnancy but some are more important to be aware of. This article discusses the top five complications that you should be aware of:

  1. Gestational Diabetes: A type of diabetes that only affects pregnant women. Women who are physically inactive, overweight or have a family history of gestational diabetes prior to becoming pregnant are most at risk. Gestational diabetes is generally temporary and causes your blood sugar to remain at sometimes dangerous levels (normal range is between 90 and 110). High blood sugar can make you feel lethargic, result in a high birth weight for your baby and put your baby at risk for being diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes later in life. If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes your doctor and a registered dietician will work with you to create a dietary plan that will appropriately control your blood sugar.
  2. False Labor: If you experience false labor you will feel sometimes painful and irregular contractions (very similar to those you will feel during real labor). It is important that if this occurs before 37 weeks that you do not push. Often contractions from false labor will subside; if they become increasingly intense then you should inform your doctor.
  3. Placenta Previo: Placenta previo is characterized by a low lying placenta. If your placenta lies near your cervix then it can cause bleeding during the third trimester that can induce labor early. Many women with placenta previo will need to have a c-section. Your doctor should be able to identify this condition early in the pregnancy when you receive your first or second ultrasound.
  4. Placental Abruption: Placental abruption is an extremely serious complication. If you experience placental abruption, your placenta will separate too early from your uterus. This separation of the placenta will inhibit nutrient and oxygen flow to your baby. If your placental abruption is not caught then your baby may arrive prematurely or stillborn. Speak to your doctor about risks and prevention of this complication.
  5. Miscarriages and Ectopic Pregnancies: Miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies are fairly common complications. Miscarriages can occur any time between conception and 9 months. Miscarriages are caused by a variety of factors (many that cannot be controlled) and if they occur in the first month or 6 weeks of pregnancy may appear like a normal period. If you miscarry later in the pregnancy you are at serious risk for complications associated with hemorrhaging. Ectopic pregnancies are pregnancies where the egg implants outside of the uterus. Ectopic pregnancies can be resolved and identified if you are faithful in attending prenatal appointments.

Author Bio

Katelyn Schwanke

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