Common Pregnancy Complications
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Not every pregnancy goes as smooth as expected. Find out about the most common pregnancy complications in this video.
Transcript: Pregnancy complications are rare, but they DO happen. And when you consider all the parts that contribute...
Pregnancy complications are rare, but they DO happen. And when you consider all the parts that contribute to a pregnancy...fetus, amniotic fluid, placenta, umbilical cord...it's amazing that they don't happen more often! One group of complications stems from the amniotic fluid. Oligohydramnios, which occurs in four to eight percent of pregnancies, is a condition in which there isn't enough fluid surrounding the baby. On the other hand, when there is TOO MUCH fluid in the amniotic sac, the condition is called hydramnios or polyhydramnios. Both rarely have symptoms, and will be discovered during a standard prenatal exam. While many women with oligohydramnios or hydramnios will go on to have healthy babies, both CAN lead to difficult births or even birth defects. For this reason, women with oligohydramnios should drink plenty of water. Moms-to-be with extreme hydramnios may need to undergo a procedure called therapeutic amniocentesis, whereby fluid is withdrawn from the amniotic sac. In one to two percent of pregnancies, the amniotic sac may become infected with bacteria. The main symptoms of chorioamnionitis, as this is known, are a fever in labor and vaginal leaking of odorous amniotic-fluid. Generally, women diagnosed with chorioamnionitis are given antibiotics. Once born, the baby will also likely take a course of medication. Another pregnancy complication is pre-eclampsia, which is a sudden onset of high blood pressure and swelling. Five to ten percent of pregnant moms experience pre-eclampsia. Once pre-eclampsia is diagnosed, bed rest may be able to prolong the pregnancy if the baby is premature. If left untreated, this condition can lead to pregnancy seizures called eclampsia, a serious condition which occurs in one of 2,000 pregnancies. Eclampsia can be life threatening to the mother and requires immediate delivery of the baby. Gestational diabetes affects four to seven percent of moms-to-be. This condition occurs when a woman's body doesn't produce enough insulin to keep up with higher demand, resulting in increased blood sugar. Generally, gestational diabetes can be controlled with diet, exercise and blood sugar monitoring, but if left untreated, the baby can grow too large and cause delivery difficulties. In about one in 300 labors, the umbilical cord will jump the gun and slip through the cervix before the baby. Known as cord prolapse, this can have serious consequences, because the cord is the baby's breathing supply. After a cord prolapse, a baby will generally need to be delivered very quickly, typically via emergency C-section. Another complication, which strikes one in 200 pregnancies, is placenta previa, whereby the placenta partially or completely covers the cervix. Placenta previa is diagnosed in routine ultrasounds and can manifest as bleeding late in a pregnancy. The condition is managed with a scheduled C-section prior to the onset of labor. While these and other complications CAN occur, they are rare, and not something to worry about. With monitoring and healthy habits, there is every likelihood that you will deliver a healthy baby!More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-11 | Tags »
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