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Which Pregnancy Complication Cannot Be Treated With Regular Prenatal Care
Some people may experience health issues during pregnancy, which could lead to complications if they do not receive treatment. Certain behavioral factors, medical conditions, and environmental factors can raise a person’s chance of developing complications during their pregnancy.In this article, we look at what can increase the chance of developing complications during pregnancy. We also list possible complications, treatment options, and prevention and self-care tips to optimize health and well-being during pregnancy.The body produces around 20–30% extra blood during pregnancy. This means the body needs extra iron to make hemoglobin, which allows red blood cells to transport oxygen to cells. People may lack enough iron during the second and third trimesters.If people do not have enough iron, they can develop anemia. Symptoms of anemia include:feeling tiredfeeling faintshortness of breathrapid heartbeatTreatmentMild anemia is quite common in pregnancy, but it requires treatment. Without treatment, anemia may cause preterm birth and low birth weight. A doctor may recommend taking prenatal vitamins to prevent anemia, or an iron supplement.People who did not previously have diabetes can develop it during pregnancy. This is known as “gestational diabetes.” Gestational diabetes prevents the body from breaking down sugar correctly.As there are no external symptoms, doctors need to test for gestational diabetes. Doctors will test for the condition between 24–28 weeks of pregnancy.Doctors may test in the first trimester if people have risk factors such as being overweight or if they had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy.Learn more about gestational diabetes here.TreatmentA healthy diet and regular exercise can help to control gestational diabetes. Some people may need medication or insulin to help control blood sugar.If people have poorly controlled high blood pressure before or during pregnancy, it can cause complications.The following are examples of blood pressure disorders that can occur during pregnancy: Gestational hypertension: Gestational hypertension occurs if someone with previously normal blood pressure develops high blood pressure after 20 weeks of pregnancy, which returns to normal within 12 weeks of delivery. Chronic hypertension: This is high blood pressure that began before a person’s 20th week of pregnancy.Preeclampsia: This is a new onset increase in blood pressure that occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy with new symptoms. With gestational hypertension, the only abnormality a person experiences is their blood pressure. However, with preeclampsia, a person will experience high blood pressure alongside increased levels of protein in the urine. They may also experience sudden and severe peripheral edema, which is swelling of the hands, face, feet, and ankles.People usually experience no other symptoms apart from high blood pressure. However, symptoms can include:persistent headache that does not respond to painkillersblurred visionflashing lightspartial loss of vision or a blind spotGestational hypertension does not usually cause any harm, but it does need monitoring. Severe high blood pressure could cause small birth size, decreased amniotic fluid, increased risk of preeclampsia, and medical reasons for an early delivery.Learn more about high blood pressure during pregnancy here.TreatmentDoctors will monitor blood pressure and may use medications to control high blood pressure.Preeclampsia is a condition that causes very high blood pressure during pregnancy and can affect the organs. It can happen at week 20 of pregnancy or later.Symptoms of preeclampsia include:changes in visionsevere headachepain underneath the ribsdifficulty breathingDoctors will routinely check for high blood pressure during prenatal visits. If a person has high blood pressure, a doctor will then check kidney and liver function for preeclampsia.TreatmentIf preeclampsia develops near term, at 37–40 weeks of pregnancy, doctors will induce labor to treat preeclampsia.If doctors cannot deliver the baby because it is too early, they will closely monitor the condition and prescribe bed rest and medications to help lower blood pressure.HELLP syndrome is a rare but serious complication of hypertensive disorders during pregnancy. It usually occurs in the third trimester (the last 3 months).HELLP stands for:Hemolysis: This is when the red blood cells break down.Elevated liver enzymes: If a person has high levels of liver enzymes, it indicates a problem with the liver.Low platelet count: A low platelet count can result in severe bleeding.HELLP can lead to:bleeding and clotting problemspulmonary edema (buildup of fluid in the lungs)kidney failureliver failureplacental abruption (the placenta separates from the uterus wall)A person should seek emergency medical help if they experience:blurred visionchest painpain in the upper right stomachpain in the middle of the stomachvomitingswellingfatigueAlthough rare, a person can experience nosebleeds and seizures, or convulsions.Learn more about HELLP syndrome here.TreatmentTreatment can involve medication to help control a person’s blood pressure. They may also require a blood transfusion.Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is persistent and severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. HG can cause weight loss and dehydration.According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, people may experience HG for the whole of their pregnancy, or it may improve by 20 weeks of pregnancy. Symptoms of HG include severe and persistent nausea and vomiting. A person may also experience a loss of prepregnancy weight by 5% or more.Learn more about hyperemesis gravidarum here.TreatmentTreatment can help to prevent nutrient deficiencies. Eating a diet of bland foods and fluids may help. Some people may need medications to control nausea, or intravenous fluids and nutrients.Some infections can occur during pregnancy and delivery. During pregnancy, they can affect the health of the fetus. Examples of some infections that can affect pregnancy include:Learn more about infections in pregnancy here.Symptoms vary for different infections, but signs of infection can include:gray or white vaginal discharge, with an unpleasant smellfever and chillsbody achestirednessnauseavomiting or diarrheaflu-like symptomsTesting during pregnancy for infections can help to identify and treat them quickly. Frequent hand washing can also help to prevent picking up infections.TreatmentTreatment depends on the type of infection but may include:antibioticshepatitis B vaccine for baby at birthflu shotSome people may experience mental health conditions during pregnancy. These can include depression and anxiety. Additionally, the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) notes that eating disorders may worsen during pregnancy.People may have depression if they have these symptoms for more than 1–2 weeks at a time:low or sad moodloss of interest in enjoyable activitieschange in energy, appetite, or sleepdifficulty concentrating or making decisionsfeeling shame, guilt, or worthlessnessthoughts that life is not worth livingTreatmentPeople can speak with a doctor about treatment, which could include therapy, support groups, and medication.Learn more about available mental health resources here.Postpartum depression is a serious mental health condition that can occur after delivery. According to the OWH, many people experience feelings of sadness and emptiness a few days after giving birth. This typically resolves between 3–5 days.However, if these feelings do not resolve and a person feels sad, empty, or helpless for more than 2 weeks, they may be experiencing postpartum depression.Learn more about postpartum depression here.TreatmentIt is vital that a person tells a healthcare professional if they suspect they are experiencing postpartum depression. Treatment includes therapy and medication. The following disorders can affect the placenta during pregnancy:Placental abruption: Placental abruption occurs when the placenta becomes separated from the uterine wall before delivery. This means that the fetus may not receive enough oxygen. Symptoms can include bleeding, cramping, abdominal pain, and uterine tenderness.Placenta previa: This is when the placenta covers all or part of the cervix. There are usually no symptoms, and it often resolves by the third trimester. However, this condition needs monitoring, as cramping and vaginal bleeding can be an emergency.Placental insufficiency: This occurs when the placenta does not function as it should and is unable to deliver nutrition to the fetus.Placental infarcts: This occurs when there are areas of dead tissue within the placenta. Placenta accreta: This is when the placenta and blood vessels attach and grow into the wall of the uterus. Learn more about disorders that can affect the placenta here.TreatmentTreatment will depend on which disorder a person is experiencing. However, for placenta previa and placental abruption, a person may be monitored in the hospital or advised to limit their physical activity. For severe cases of placental abruption, a person may require medical attention, and doctors may deliver the baby early. If placental abruption is severe, it means that more than half of the placenta has become separated. If placenta previa causes heavy bleeding, a person may need to stay in the hospital. They will need a cesarean delivery, usually 2–4 weeks before the due date.Pregnancy loss is the unexpected loss of the fetus before term. Pregnancy loss can occur for many reasons. Symptoms of pregnancy loss include:fluid or tissue from the vaginacramping in the lower abdomenlower back painvaginal bleeding or spottingVaginal bleeding during pregnancy does not always indicate a pregnancy loss. A person will still need to contact their healthcare professional if they have any vaginal bleeding.Learn more about the symptoms of pregnancy loss here.Next stepsThe type of medical care a person will receive for pregnancy loss will depend on the symptoms and the person’s stage in the pregnancy.Some people may require medication or surgery to remove pregnancy tissue from the uterus, to prevent excessive bleeding or infection. Some people may also require emotional support for pregnancy loss.The Office on Women’s Health provides a helpline to support anyone who has experienced pregnancy loss. The number to call is 800-994-9662, and help is available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m Eastern Standard Time.Additionally, pregnancy loss can occur for many reasons, such as genetic abnormalities in the fetus and conditions that affect the cervix or uterus. If the pregnancy loss occurred due to a health condition, a person may require treatment for the cause. Learn more about treatment, recovery, and home care after a pregnancy loss here.Preterm labor happens when people go into labor before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Preterm labor can increase the chance of health problems in the baby, as they are not yet fully developed.Symptoms of preterm labor include:increase of vaginal dischargepressure in the pelvic areacrampingback pain that radiates to the abdomencontractionsTreatmentBed rest and medications may help prevent labor from progressing. If doctors cannot prevent labor, a person may have an early delivery. A urinary tract infection (UTI) can be common during pregnancy due to changes in the urinary tract and hormone levels. A UTI can cause the following symptoms:pain or burning sensation when urinatingfeverfrequent urge to urinatepressure in lower abdomencloudy, unpleasant-smelling urinenauseatirednessback painTreatmentA doctor can test a urine sample to check for a UTI. Antibiotics can usually treat a UTI within 1–2 days.The following are some complications a person may experience during labor:BreechIf a fetus is breech, it means they are facing feet or buttocks first before delivery. A doctor may be able to feel a pregnant person’s abdomen to check which way a fetus is facing or use an ultrasound.A doctor may use a technique called external cephalic version (ECV) to turn the fetus around manually. Doctors apply pressure to the abdomen to turn the fetus. If ECV is not effective, a person may need a cesarean delivery.Low birth weightIf a baby is born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces, they have a low birth weight. Babies can be healthy with a low birth weight, but some may have health problems.Some babies with low birth weight may need monitoring in the hospital, feeding tubes, or treatment in a neonatal intensive care unit.Existing health conditions can increase the chance of complications during pregnancy, including:The following health conditions can also increase the chance of complications:polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)heart disease kidney diseaseautoimmune diseasethyroid diseaseZika infectionOther factors which can increase the chance of complications include:teenage pregnancyfirst-time pregnancy over the age of 35drinking alcohol during pregnancysmoking during pregnancysmoking cannabis or taking illegal drugs during pregnancyPeople will need to contact a doctor if they experience any unusual symptoms during pregnancy, including:any vaginal bleeding or spottingfatigueshortness of breathdepressionabdominal pain or crampingfeeling faint or dizzysevere nausea or vomitingunusual vaginal dischargeblurred visionheadachesswelling in hands or facePeople may be able to prevent some pregnancy complications with the following:healthy dietregular exercisemanaging existing health conditionsattending all prenatal checkupsavoiding smoking, alcohol, and illegal drug usewashing hands frequently to prevent certain infectionsmaintaining a healthy weightLearn more about which fruits to eat during pregnancy here. Self-care tips during pregnancy include:taking breaks to sit down and restregular, low-impact exercise, such as walking and swimmingtaking time outdoors in the fresh airmaking time for relaxing activitiesasking for and accepting help with everyday tasksprepacking a hospital bag in preparationThis article does not contain an exhaustive list of all complications that can occur during pregnancy.Some people may experience complications during pregnancy. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to prevent complications.Attending all prenatal care checkups and keeping healthcare professionals up to date with symptoms can help to lower the risk of pregnancy complications.It is important to note that if a person has a condition that can increase the likelihood of experiencing a pregnancy complication, this does not mean that they should not be pregnant. Many health conditions, when well-managed, do not play a significant role in pregnancy complications. A person who has a health condition that may affect their chance of experiencing pregnancy complications can talk with a doctor before conceiving. Their doctor will help ensure a person is in optimal health and advise them about what to expect during the pregnancy.Throughout the pregnancy, they may require additional monitoring and testing.
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5 Important Precautions during Pregnancy | Maternal Care | Humain Diagnostics
Pregnancy health is absolutely crucial. What affects the mother, also affects the child.
Across various pregnancy stages, various environmental factors that mother and child are exposed to, can lead to pregnancy complications like miscarriages and spontaneous abortions.
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precautions on harmful environmental factors that pregnant women need to protect themselves from.
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