Most Common Complications

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Gestational Diabetes

One of the most commonly heard about pregnancy complications is gestational diabetes. This is a type of diabetes that develops in pregnant women. Since pregnancy makes it more difficult for your body to use insulin, you pancreas has to work harder. In some women, this does not happen so they have a form of diabetes while pregnant. Most women do not remain diabetic after giving birth; however, you will want to keep an eye out for it in future pregnancies. Some developing babies tend to be larger than normal if the baby's body can not handle the excess glucose.

If you are diagnosed, your doctor will probably put you on a special diet. You may also have extra ultrasounds to make sure that the baby is not growing too large.

Polyhydramnios/Oligohydramnios

These two pregnancy complications have to do with amniotic fluid. Polyhydramnios means that there is too much fluid in the amniotic sac, while oligohydramnios means there is too little amniotic fluid. Doctors are not always sure what causes these complications but may be able to determine on an individual basis. Some causes of polyhydramnios are multiples (i.e. twins, triplets, etc.), gestational diabetes, or in rare cases, fetal abnormalities. Oligohydramnios can be caused by a leaky or ruptured membranes, multiples, or preeclampsia. If you are diagnosed with oligohydramnios, your doctor will monitor you and your baby closely to make sure the pregnancy continues as it should. If you are close to term, you may be induced. If you are diagnosed with polyhydramnios, it will most likely fix itself, but you will be monitored closely because this condition puts you at risk for preterm labor.

Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia, or toxemia, is another commonly-known pregnancy complication. All this means is that you are generally past your 20th week of pregnancy (it can happen before, but it is VERY rare) and that you have high blood pressure and protein in your urine. The earlier you develop preeclampsia, the more risks involved. Preeclampsia causes blood vessels to constrict which means less blood flow to the uterus. This can cause poor fetal growth and decreased amniotic fluid. If diagnosed, treatment will depend on how far along you are in your pregnancy. If it is mild, you will most likely be put on bed rest and make more frequent trips to the doctor. If you are at least 37 weeks, you will probably be induced immediately or have a scheduled C-section.

Again, these are not the only complications that can arise during pregnancy; they are simply the most commonly known. If you think you are having problems with your pregnancy, be sure to consult your doctor.


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