Motherhood is definitely a life transforming phase in every woman’s life. But in this roller coaster ride, there comes a time when she is almost about to give up. However, in the end the journey seems worth the ride, when she hears the first cry from her little bundle of joy.
Every woman is different. And the complications she faces during pregnancy is also different. So, we have jotted down a few of the common complications to enlighten you and catch the early symptoms of any possible mishaps.
As the name suggests, this is when the fertilized egg implants in the tubes of the uterus. This has been studied to occur in about one in 50 women worldwide. This condition is also known as Ectopic pregnancy.
Ideally, a fertilized egg should be implanted in uterus but in this case, it is implanted outside the uterus, thus the term “ectopic.”
After conception, a fertilized egg travels down one of your fallopian tubes on its way to uterus. If the tube is damaged, blocked or unable to propel the egg, the egg is implanted in the tube. It can cause bleeding and abdominal pain as the embryo grows. It can lead to tube loss or even death if it’s not treated at the right time.
From the very first moment when you confirm your pregnancy till the time your baby is delivered, you have to be cautious at every step because any minor or major mistake may invite a big problem. Miscarriages occur in about 15 to 20 percent of pregnancies, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and most occur during the first three months of pregnancy.
So, following is a list of habits a woman should curtail during her pregnancy:
We all know that smoking is bad for all but it becomes worse when you do it in your pregnancy. When you smoke, you inhale nicotine with all other poisons and always remember your baby breaths with you.
Smoking lowers the amount of oxygen available to you and your growing baby. It may cause miscarriages, increased fetal heart rates, birth defects and stillbirth.
Passive smoking, also known as second hand smoking, is where you inhale it from the environment around you. It also increases the chances of having miscarriages, still-birth, tubal pregnancy, low birth weight baby and other complications of pregnancy.
Babies and children exposed to secondhand smoke may also develop asthma, allergies, more frequent lung, ear infections and are at higher risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Consumption of alcohol may cause various problems not only to you but also to your unborn baby.
According to a research done on 93,000 pregnant women, who were part of the Danish National Birth Cohort from 1996 to 2003, the risk of miscarriages gets increased by 1.5 times more to the women who take two drinks in a week than the women who never drinks. So, even the small amount of alcohol may be problematic for you as there are no safer limit of it.
And the study also showed that the women who had more than four drinks a week, the risk of miscarriage gets doubled. Risk of miscarriage keeps on increasing with light to moderate drinking.
3. Caffeine in excess
Excess of anything is not good and same is the case with caffeine intake. Most of us start our day with tea or coffee. It makes one feel energized after consuming caffeine but it has bad effect on your body especially when you are pregnant.
Studies suggest that you can consume caffeine keeping the amount of it in check because excess consumption of it may harm your unborn baby and can increase your heart rate. It can also increase the risk of miscarriage. According to a general study, a woman is more than twice as likely to suffer a stillbirth compared with the one who doesn’t drink coffee during pregnancy.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), pregnant women should limit their caffeine intake to less than 200 milligrams per day, which is about one 11-ounce cup of coffee
Following is the list of drink given below with the amount of caffeine they contain.
One mug of filter coffee: 140mg
One mug of tea: 75mg
One can of cola: 40mg
One can of energy drink: upto 80 mg
So, with the help of above list, you can keep yourself aware of your caffeine intake in a day.
Use of any kind of drug is not good as it puts you and your unborn baby at risk. Illegal drugs like marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and LSD are harmful and may cause serious problems in pregnancy. These drugs during pregnancy can result in miscarriage, low birth weight, premature labor, placental abruption, fetal death, and even maternal death.
Following are some illegal drugs which may cause miscarriage:
According to the Organization of Teratology Information Services (OTIS), during the early months of pregnancy cocaine exposure may increase the risk of miscarriage. Later in pregnancy, cocaine use can cause placental abruption, which can lead to severe bleeding, preterm birth, and fetal death.
Smoking marijuana increases the levels of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in the blood, which reduces the oxygen supply to the baby.
Abnormal Short Cervix
Your cervix is the narrow neck like passage forming the lower end of the womb and it plays a very important role in childbirth. It is normally long, firm until you get pregnant. After that it starts expanding and when it happens, it gets shorter in size. Generally, it happens after 24 weeks.
But in some rare cases, it happens between 16 to 24 weeks and this is a case of abnormal short cervix. It is also known as cervical insufficiency. This can cause early childbirth or miscarriage too in some cases.
The pelvic pressure, cramps, backache, vaginal discharge and light bleeding may be the symptoms of cervical insufficiency.
Diabetes during pregnancy is what we call gestational diabetes. It is a condition when women without diabetes develops high blood sugar during pregnancy. The common symptoms of diabetes are frequent urination, hunger, thirst and also the blurred vision. But all these things are common in pregnancy like the frequent urination and hunger. So, if you observe excess of these symptoms, consult with your doctor as there are no specific symptoms of it and it can only be diagnosed by a blood test.
The eventual long term effects of gestational diabetes can be seen as it increases the risk of delivering a baby with increased birth weight and eventually increasing the chances of type 2 diabetes in your child.
Being overweight, having polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), having a first degree relative with gestational diabetes or previous increases of sugar levels can increase the likelihood of having gestational diabetes. The risk of gestational diabetes also increases as the age of a woman increases.
Preterm Labor or popularly known as “Premature Labor” is when your body gets prepared for an early delivery. One will experience contractions that will cause your cervix to open before 37 weeks, which is approximately three weeks before the designated due date.
Following are the symptoms of Preterm Labor:
Menstrual like cramping
Vaginal Bleeding or Spotting
More than four contractions in one hour
Pressure in pelvic area
Premature babies have slow growth compared to normal babies. But that does not imply that all preterm deliveries lead to such problems. In rare cases, it can cause problems like autism, intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, lung problems , hearing and vision loss.
Dehydration is “lack of desired amount of water in the body”. This could be a cause of concern during pregnancy when the dehydration is severe. There could be multiple causes of dehydration which include:
insufficient intake of fluids
It could be dangerous when dehydration is severe. It is noted with; sunken eyes, increased heart rate, heavy breathing, anxiety, low blood pressure. Sometimes it becomes difficult to eat or drink anything. In such case, one should consult a doctor for proper observation and medication.
To avoid such situation to occur, pregnant women should go for beverages and food which can hydrate their body. A Woman should check on how much water she loses and accordingly take measure.
Although rare, pre eclampsia is a condition that requires immediate medical attention when identified. For a pregnant woman it is ideally characterized by an increase in the blood pressure which can lead to a damage in other organs, mainly the kidneys.
Some symptoms that women can identify on their own include:
Blurring of vision
Excessive nausea which can cause vomiting
Difficulty breathing with pain in the chest
Pre eclampsia can prove fatal as it essentially decreases the blood flow to your baby. It can also cause the placenta to separate from the uterine wall, better known as placental abruption. If left untreated it can lead to Eclampsia, which is characterised by seizures that is ultimately highly fatal to both the mother and child.
When you are pregnant, your baby is surrounded by a fluid – filled membranous sac. This amniotic fluid protects your baby as it maintains the constant temperature in womb and protects her from infections. It also helps in the development of baby as it makes easy for baby to move her muscles and bones properly.
The membranes will rupture at the beginning or during the labor.
It is an important sign of getting labor but sometimes water breaks but there is delay in delivery. The biggest risk from rupture of membranes is infection. Once those membranes are broken, your baby is more vulnerable, and so your doctor will most likely have you go to the hospital where he or she can check you out and decide what to do next.
The complication related to this becomes worse when your water breaks too early i.e. before the 37th week of pregnancy. It is known as premature rupture of membranes (PROM). The causes of PROM can be short cervical length, poor nutrition, being under weight and vaginal bleeding during the second and third trimester, smoking, and drug intakes during pregnancy. If you have faced this problem earlier, it can also cause PROM.
For first 14 weeks, you will supply the fluid into the amniotic sac surrounding your baby. Your baby swallows this fluid and excretes it through urination. It keeps going for every few hours and it also helps developing the digestive and respiratory system of your baby.
But if there is less fluid to float in, it gives rise to a condition of oligohydramnios.
Around 4 percent of pregnant women worldwide suffer from this problem and the percentage increases to 12 when they are still pregnant two weeks post their due date. Too little of this fluid can create problems like birth defects like blockage of urinary tract.
Chronic high blood pressure and diabetes can cause oligohydramnios. There may be chances of low amniotic fluid if you are carrying twins.
Polyhydramnios is the opposite to oligohydramnios. This condition refers to an excess of fluid in the amniotic sac. It occurs in about 1 percent of pregnancies.
During the pregnancy, certain clinical signs may suggest polyhydramnios.
Increased abdominal size
Uterine size that outspaces the gestational age
Chest heaviness due to the increased size of the abdomen.
When examining the fetus, faint fetal heart sounds are also an important clinical sign of this condition.
For a woman with severe polyhydramnios, may need to hospital admission as soon as possible because fetuses with polyhydramnios are at high risk of following problems:
Babies by 36 weeks of pregnancy turn their head down towards the birth canal. This is the normal and expected position in normal delivery. Around 3-5% of pregnant women are likely to have a breech baby as per the study ”Planned caesarian section for term breech delivery” conducted in year 2015. This position is known as breech position and it must be delivered by C- section. This problem may also lead to early labor, or any other uterus related problem.
These were the probable pregnancy complications but you don’t need to worry just thinking about these problems without getting proper consultation of your doctor. As taking stress is also not good for both of you.
We hope this article would help you to make you aware about all the complications. Because proper guidance, care and awareness can make your journey more beautiful and smooth. So,take good care of yourself and enjoy your new phase of life.