Apr 072012

Pregnancy is a very rewarding experience for a mother, which gives her the satisfaction of contributing a life in to the world. This is also a very crucial and sensitive stage of the life of the mother as well as the child, since any complications in this delicate process can lead to severe health complications, which may even prove fatal. Luckily, these complications are rare provided proper care and rest is taken during this phase. However, complications do develop and identifying them and knowing about them can help in catching these in early stages, and in early treatment accordingly.
One of the most common problems faced during pregnancy is spotting or bleeding. This can take place during various stages of pregnancy, and should be looked into seriously. In the initial stages, it may be signifying implantation bleeding, whereby there is small amount of bleeding when the fertilized ovum implants itself in the uterine wall of the mother. On the other hand, the location of the placenta well below in the uterus and any irritation to it may also cause bleeding, which can lead to abortion should care not be followed. The third more common bleeding phase may take place towards the end of pregnancy. At this stage, the condition is termed as the placenta previa or placental abruption. All of these conditions must be taken seriously, since they can lead to abortion of the fetus or premature birth.
Another reason for bleeding during pregnancy, which can rapidly lead to fatal complications, is the implantation of the zygote in the wrong place of the uterus, mainly the fallopian tubes, during its descent into the uterus. The fallopian tubes are not equipped to carry the baby; they are merely locations where fertilization takes place and a passage through which the ovum descends in to the uterus. Implantation in this area can lead to rupture of the fallopian tube, leading to massive bleeding, which may lead to infertility or even death of the mother.
There are however, many complications that take place during pregnancy that are somewhat routine and can be considered as part of the pregnancy phase. The most common of these symptoms are back pain, due to the shift in the mother’s center of gravity and increasing size of the uterus and fetus. Patients may also suffer from hand or wrist pain, commonly referred to as the Carpal Tunnel syndrome. This usually indicates the accumulation of fluid within the joint cavities of the body, especially the hands, which causes pain in the wrist. Constipation is another complication, which can be relieved with appropriate medicine. On the other hand, hemorrhoids are also a common finding, mainly since the supply to the anal area may be affected due to the weight of the uterus and the baby.
Preterm labor is another complication that is very commonly seen, where the baby is delivered earlier than the expected date of the delivery. This is mostly caused by abnormal and early uterine contractions, but can also result from conditions such as preeclampsia etc. Also, certain conditions such as rapidly rising blood pressure of the mother or fetal distress syndrome may also call the need to carry out early delivery of the fetus. The baby delivered at earlier time may not be ready to face the challenges of the world, and therefore, may need extensive medical attention in order to survive. Still many babies delivered too early may fail to survive. The mother can also suffer from very high blood pressure which can lead to eclampsia. Those babies that do survive may suffer from low birth weight, and run risks of developing infections of the respiratory tracts, problems in the development of the brain which can lead to learning disabilities, and various heart related complications.
Growing babies in the body of the mother are kept in a special fluid called the amniotic fluid. It serves many purposes. These include nutrition and protection of the fetus from shocks, as well as providing a medium in which the baby can carry out small movements within the mother’s body. The amount of this fluid must be balanced. Too much or too little fluid can lead to complications. Mostly, there is a reduction in the amount of amniotic fluid rather than an increase in it. Such condition is known as oligohydramnios. This condition can be a result of maternal conditions such as high blood pressure, preeclampsia, diabetes or lupus, and therefore, should mothers have these conditions, she should be followed closely at regular intervals to ensure the condition does not develop.
These and many other conditions are found in pregnancy and can lead to problems in the development of the baby within the womb and even outside it. It can also restrict the growth of the baby and may place the mother’s health in danger. The only way that a woman can prevent such complications is to have regular visits with her doctor, take the doctor’s advice seriously, and closely observe for any changes that may seem out of the ordinary during the pregnancy. Mothers are also advised to record any changes that take place in the body during the pregnancy and discuss these changes with the doctor. Proper care and management can help prevent most of these complications, and can lead to healthy pregnancies.