While there is nothing more beautiful than bringing new life into the world, there are some complications and challenges that may arise that are important to be aware of. Many challenges during pregnancy come in the form of common symptoms, while others are more individual, and can become serious medical issues. Common symptoms are referenced in more detail in the Pregnancy Symptoms and Your Pregnancy by Trimester sections.
Some more serious challenges and risks include:
Ectopic means ‘out of place’, and an ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilized egg has implanted outside of the uterus. Also referred to as a “tubal pregnancy”, ectopic pregnancy occurs when the egg settles in the fallopian tubes. Fallopian tubes do not provide enough space or a nurturing environment for a growing fetus, causing the fetus to eventually burst through the tube. This can cause serious internal bleeding, and a serious risk to the mother. Vaginal bleeding is generally the first symptom of Ectopic pregnancies. An ultra sound will confirm the high-risk pregnancy, and in most cases an injection of methotrexate will stop the growth of the embryo, terminating the early pregnancy. If the pregnancy is further along, a surgery may be needed to remove it.
While pregnant, your iron requirements rise significantly due to expansion of blood and the fact that much of your iron intake now goes to your growing baby. If you start pregnancy with deficient stores of iron, you are more at risk to develop anemia later in pregnancy. Vomiting from morning sickness will increase your risk of anemia. Be sure to get enough iron during before and during every trimester of pregnancy. The recommended daily amount for a pregnancy woman is 27 milligrams per day.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) may occur because of the many hormonal changes brought about during pregnancy. Some doctors also theorize that as the uterus grows its increased weight can block the drainage of urine from the bladder, causing an infection. While it may cause discomfort, if you think you have a UTI, see your doctor for a diagnosis and medication.
Post-partum depression and psychosis
Most women who give birth experience some form of ‘blues’ afterwards, but about 10% of new moms experience severe depression, known as post-partum depression. Even more rare, a select few women experience what is known as post-partum psychosis. While the ‘blues’ are characterized by symptoms such as: mood swings, sadness and trouble sleeping, women who suffer from post-partum depression undergo: a lack of connection with their baby, loss of sexual interest, and withdrawal from family and friends. Women who suffer from postpartum psychosis can become paranoid, confused and disoriented, masochistic, and delusional.
Thromboembolic disorders are characterized by blood clots forming in blood vessels and represent one of the most extreme and rare risks. Thromboembolic disorders are the leading cause of death in pregnant women. Most complications due to blood clots result from injuries that occur during delivery. Women who have had a blood clot during a previous pregnancy may be given heparin (an anticoagulant) during subsequent pregnancies to prevent blood clots from forming.
If you think you are affected by any of these possible risks we would strongly urge you to see your doctor immediately.
Other pregnancy articles:
- Your Pregnancy by Trimester
- Pregnancy Health & Nutrition
- Pregnancy Challenges and Possible Risks
- Decreasing Damage “Down Under” During Childbirth: Perineal Massage Made Easy
- Decreasing Damage “Down Under” During Childbirth: Perineal Massage Made Easy: Part 2