Pregnancy risks: Watch out for these roadblocks
6 minute read, Written By: Momly
Pregnancy is a beautiful time to be in for women. You are swimming in high most of the times and consciously planning for the road ahead. But do you know the road is layered with bumps too and you need to be watchful if you want to reach the destination safely. Healthy pregnancy is taking charge and preventing the risks and complications that have chances of springing in your bumpy ride. Before gaining insight on how to prevent the pregnancy risks, let’s know the different types of risks that make appearance in pregnancy.
Common pregnancy risks in pregnancy -
- Miscarriage – Miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week. It can be caused by genetic abnormalities in the fetus, hormonal imbalances, uterine abnormalities, infections, or other factors.The majority of miscarriages occur during the first few months of pregnancy and are caused by chromosomal abnormalities that disrupt the baby's normal growth and development.
- Preterm birth – It occurs when a baby is born before completing 37 weeks of gestation. It can be caused by various factors such as infections, chronic disorders, multiple pregnancies or issues in uterus. Preterm birth babies face potential issues like underdeveloped organs and delayed milestones and developments.
- Gestational diabetes – Gestational diabetes happens to pregnant women and is one of the most common pregnancy risks. It occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels adequately. When your sugar levels rise too high during pregnancy, it is called as gestational diabetes. Your body shows insulin resistance due to hormonal changes in pregnancy. It can lead to complications for both mother and the baby and increased risk of type 2 diabetes in later stages. Gestational diabetes affects fetal health and can lead to various complications in pregnancy. The result of having high sugar while pregnant can result into conditions like preeclampsia, larger babies (birth weight on the higher side), and preterm birth.
- Pre-eclampsia – It is a condition characterized by high blood pressure and damage to organs, usually the liver and kidneys. The cause of this condition is unknown and cannot be explained but it is believed to be related to problems with the placenta and blood vessels. Preeclampsia symptoms consist of high blood pressure, edema (swelling), fatigue, headache, blurring of vision, and abdominal pain.
- Ectopic pregnancy – This happens when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube. It is a serious pregnancy risk and requires immediate medical intervention. Exact cause of ectopic pregnancy is unknown but most likely infections or pelvic inflammatory disease, history of infertility, previous ectopic pregnancy increases the chance of women suffering from this pregnancy risk.
- Placenta previa – It is where the placenta partially or completely covers the cervix. It can result into bleeding during pregnancy and may progress into c-section. This can be a serious health risk for both mother and child. The common early sign of placenta previa is vaginal bleeding in third trimester. Placenta previa can hamper fetal’s growth.
- Anemia – Shortage of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood causes Anemia. Pregnant women who lack iron suffer from this condition. Iron supplements are given by doctors in pregnancy to avoid this risk but some women need more medical intervention like blood transfusion to increase the red blood cell levels.
How to prevent pregnancy risks?
- Prenatal supplements – Consume prenatal supplements like folic acid and other supplements like iron and calcium without fail. This will avoid most of the pregnancy risks that develops during pregnancy.
- Avoid Alcohol and smoking - Avoid alcohol and smoking and quit them if you are planning for a healthy pregnancy. Make way for healthy habits which will prevent significant risks and ensures good health and growth of baby.
- Maintain a healthy weight – Weight management is essential to prevent gestational diabetes. Heavy weight leads to this pregnancy risk and increases blood sugar levels. Join a prenatal fitness class or prenatal yoga. Train under a professional trainer to maintain a healthy body weight. This will solve the problem of shedding of post pregnancy kilos too.
- Preconception care – Regular checkups to alleviate existing medical conditions is necessary if you have planned to conceive. Also discuss pregnancy goals with your partner and get support from a preconception counsellor to know what steps you can take to achieve healthy pregnancy.
- Balanced diet – Eat a nutritious diet when you are carrying a baby. Take charge of your eating habits by planning a healthy meal that includes fresh vegetables, seasonal fruits and healthy anti-oxidants so that you have access to all food groups and components of nutrients.
- Mental health support – If postnatal depression is common, women also suffer from prenatal depression and anxiety. This could potentially give rise to some health risks for mother and baby. Seek help from a mental health expert or therapist if you experience any stress and anxiety. Your emotional wellbeing is important to enjoy good physical health. Join garbhasanskar yoga sessions to beat stress and practice mindfulness activities like chanting slokas, reading positive books, listening to happy music and get exposed to other creative activities.
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