Pregnancy is a period of changes and a lot of happiness. To know that a little baby is growing inside you is an indescribable emotion. Pregnancy is also a period when your health matters a lot more as another life is completely dependent on you for its needs. This is a huge responsibility for every mother-to-be, and all the more reason to stay healthy and eat nutritiously.
During pregnancy, the mother-to-be should closely keep her health in check as there are certain medical conditions that can adversely affect your pregnancy and the baby. It is not simply that experienced mothers constantly advice you to keep off excess sugar to avoid getting gestational diabetes. There are a lot more conditions you are likely to contract once you are pregnant and these can have adverse effects.
Here is a list of 11 health problems that can impact your pregnancy. They may be pre-existing health conditions, an age of the mother, lifestyle and certain conditions that may develop during pregnancy.
Pregnancy Problems: Common Health Problems
PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)
PCOS is a hormone disorder that is prevalent among women of the reproductive age. Although this is not very problematic on its own, it can affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant and stay pregnant. Issues that crop up during pregnancy include a higher risk of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, premature delivery, and preeclampsia.
While diabetes is worrisome on its own, it can be even more worrisome in case of pregnancy. The expectant mother should manage diabetes even before continuing as it can result in defects as early on as the first few weeks of pregnancy. Folic acid supplements are often prescribed to keep sugar levels in check. Consulting your health care provider prior to conception is essential to make sure your diabetes remains in check.
High blood pressure
Having a high blood pressure can be directly correlated to damaged kidneys for the mother as well as low fetal birth weight. This is seen only in cases of uncontrolled blood pressure. Although this is a matter of concern among expectant mothers, many mothers with high blood pressure have had normal pregnancy and delivery. This does not rule out the need to seek your doctor’s guidance.
Women with hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are likely to develop fetal anomalies during pregnancy. This may include heart failure, birth defects and poor weight gain. Women with thyroid conditions are often treated before conception. Women with thyroid conditions may also develop high blood pressure during pregnancy.
Women who have a history of kidney problems are at a higher risk of a miscarriage than normal women. Kidney diseases tend to aggravate during pregnancy. Such women need to be treated accordingly with strict diet plans and frequent medical supervision. However, advances in renal treatments and dialysis have ensured a healthy baby in most cases.
While obesity is a problem in itself, it can be even more problematic during pregnancy. Women who are obese stand a higher risk of developing diabetes. This, in turn, can cause health issues for the baby. Women who gain weight excessively during pregnancy and retain the weight postpartum stand at higher risk of developing obesity later on.
Women with pre-existing conditions such as autoimmune diseases have a higher risk of a problematic pregnancy, like preterm birth and stillbirth. Women with conditions such as lupus and multiple sclerosis are some examples of women who stand such risks.
Studies have shown that women who resort to medications to assist in conception and increase chances of pregnancy are more likely to have complications in pregnancy. This is in comparison to women who got pregnant naturally.
First-time pregnancy after the age of 35
Although this is not a significant reason to be worried, statistics reveal a higher risk among such women to have complication during pregnancy which includes having to have a caesarean section, excessive bleeding during delivery, prolonged labour which does not advance, and genetic disorders for the baby such as Down’s Syndrome.
Women who are pregnant are advised to keep off alcoholic beverages. This is mainly because the alcohol is directly passed to the baby via the umbilical cord. Women are advised to cut down on consumption to avoid complications that can arise during pregnancy. This includes a high chance of miscarriage as well as stillbirth. The fetus also stands the risk of having FASD or fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. This is the name given to a group of disorders a fetus might have due to excessive alcohol consumption by the mother during pregnancy. It can include short stature, abnormal facial features, hyperactivity disorder, low body weight, vision and hearing impairment and intellectual disabilities.
While cigarette smoking is strictly advised against during pregnancy, there is a similar risk the fetus is in when the mother is exposed to secondhand smoke. The fetus may have health problems such as preterm birth, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and certain birth defects. Women who are regular smokers should keep off cigarettes to ensure a healthy baby and a healthy gestational period.
It is important to do regular check-ups before and after conception occurs. It is safe to consult your health provider and check on the health of the wanna-be-mother before conception to make sure that she does not suffer from any health conditions that might affect her or her future baby. In case such conditions exist, treatment should be sought immediately. The mother should be closely monitored in case of such health problems before and during pregnancy.
With healthcare advancing in leaps and bounds, there is no room for worry for expectant mothers. Your health care provider can take care of you and your baby through every step of your pregnancy and delivery if you constantly consult them. With such monitoring, mothers can expect normal and a blissful pregnancy. Welcome your little one into your world with the best of health!