Pregnancy complications are an expectant mom’s worst nightmare, but keep in mind that not every pregnancy complication leads to a miscarriage or other involuntary loss of pregnancy, according to the Mayo Clinic and the March of Dimes. Treating any potential problems early on is crucial to not only protecting your unborn baby, but also your health and future fertility. While sometimes it’s hard for a woman to differentiate between a typical pregnancy-related side effect and a potentially serious complication, learning how to identify complications can greatly enhance your chances of a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
Pregnancy complications can range from gestational diabetes and high blood pressure to involuntary terminations such as miscarriage, according to the March of Dimes. Also, some pregnancies are termed ectopic or tubal because the fetus rested in a fallopian tube rather than the uterus.
Some vaginal bleeding happens in many women in the early days of pregnancy or right before labor, according to the March of Dimes. However, clot-like bleeding may indicate a miscarriage. Any type of severe abdominal pain, especially accompanied by vaginal bleeding or unusual discharge, may indicate ectopic pregnancy. Morning sickness that doesn’t go away or causes an expectant mom to lose weight may also be a sign of complications.
Not every pregnancy complication can be avoided, but you can reduce your chances by eating a healthy diet and getting proper prenatal care, according to the March of Dimes. Also, keep in mind that moms who smoke or drink alcohol are far more likely to suffer pregnancy complications and miscarriages or deliver babies with birth defects. Staying in touch with your doctor, especially if you notice unusual pain or vaginal bleeding, is also key toward preventing potential complications.
Some pregnancy complications can be alleviated with bed rest, adequate nutrition and medication, according to the March of Dimes. However, ectopic pregnancies must be medically terminated through drugs or surgery; miscarriages also need prompt treatment to avoid potential sepsis, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Time Frame and Prevalence
Most serious pregnancy complications such as miscarriage or tubal pregnancy occur within the first trimester of pregnancy, according to the Mayo Clinic and the March of Dimes. About 10 to 20 percent of women who know they are pregnant will miscarry, usually due to abnormalities in the growing fetus. Determining just how many women suffer general pregnancy complications is much more difficult; however, women with a history of past pregnancy problems, including miscarriage, as well as those expectant moms over 35 may be more likely to suffer from complications.
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