Pregnancy can affect your physical and mental health drastically. If you plan to become pregnant, make sure to get ample health care before, during, and after the pregnancy to give you and your baby the best chance at a mostly risk-free pregnancy.
Mental and physical conditions can lead to complications or even death for the pregnant person or the baby.
If at any point you feel something is wrong, reach out to your healthcare provider right away. Early treatment and intervention could save your life or your baby’s life.
Pregnant women may be at higher risk of developing health problems depending on existing health conditions, lifestyle factors, age, and the condition of the pregnancy.
Any of the below-mentioned risks or complications can be lessened with prenatal care. Prenatal care can help keep you and your baby healthy. It lets your healthcare provider spot health problems early. Early treatment can cure many problems and prevent others.
According to the CDC, 2 in 3 pregnancy-related deaths are preventable.
In the first few weeks of caring for a newborn, most new moms feel anxious, sad, frustrated, tired and overwhelmed.
If you are concerned about yourself or a new mom who could be experiencing postpartum depression, contact your health care provider or call the national hotline for “Depression After Delivery” at 1-800-944-4773.
Sometimes known as the "baby blues," these feelings get better within a few weeks. Postpartum depression is more serious than “baby blues” and can start within the first few weeks after birth. It interferes with mom’s ability to care for herself and her family. It can occur up to a year after birth. Mothers with postpartum depression experience feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety and exhaustion that may require treatment.
Similarly, new mothers can develop postpartum psychosis, which is a rare but severe condition that can lead to life-threatening thoughts and actions.
See a doctor as soon as possible if your symptoms don’t fade after a few weeks, your symptoms continue to worsen, your thoughts make it difficult to care for your baby or complete daily tasks or you are having thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.
Postpartum Depression Screening - Your obstetrician/gynecologist, midwife or primary care provider may give you a postpartum depression screening as part of a routine postpartum exam or if you are showing signs of severe depression two or more weeks after giving birth.
Call, Text or Chat 988 or Visit www.helplinecenter.org/9-8-8/ for help with suicidal thoughts.
Miscarriage is an unexpected loss of pregnancy before the 20th week of pregnancy. Most miscarriages happen very early in the pregnancy, often before a woman even knows she is pregnant.
10-20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage
Contrary to popular belief, miscarriages aren’t typically caused by something going wrong in a pregnancy. There is no way to prevent most miscarriages. Most often, miscarriages happen when the fetus isn’t properly developing.
Risks: fever, chills, tenderness in the abdomen, and foul-smelling vaginal discharge
Preterm labor is labor that starts before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy.
Risks: premature birth and increased chance of health problems in the baby
Risks for Baby: breathing issues, intestinal issues, brain bleeding, and developmental delays
Preeclampsia is a condition occurring during pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure, protein in the urine, and swelling of the feet, ankles, and lower legs.
Risks: damage to liver or kidneys, seizures, stroke, or eclampsia
Eclampsia is the occurrence of seizures (not attributed to another cause) during pregnancy (usually after the 20th week). The cause of eclampsia is not well understood. Eclampsia may follow pre-eclampsia if that condition cannot be brought under control.
Risks: placental abruption, preterm birth, pregnancy loss, stillbirth, stroke, organ failure, and death
Gestational diabetes is a type that develops during pregnancy, occurring when the body can’t produce insulin.
Risks: high blood pressure, premature birth, increased likelihood of a large (9+ pounds) baby, difficult delivery, having a baby with low blood sugar, and increased chance of baby developing type 2 diabetes
Hyperemesis gravidarum is severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. It can lead to loss of weight and body fluid, which can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.
Risks: poor weight gain, bleeding in the esophagus (rare), anxiety and depression
Ectopic Pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg implants in tissue outside of the uterus and the placenta and fetus begin to develop there. The most common site is within a fallopian tube. However, ectopic pregnancies can rarely occur in the ovary, the abdomen, and in the lower portion of the uterus (the cervix). During an ectopic pregnancy, the embryo cannot be saved and treatment will be needed to remove it before it gets too big.
Risks: rupture of fallopian tube, serious internal bleeding, and death
HELLP Syndrome is a group of symptoms that occur in pregnant women who have hemolysis (the breakdown of red blood cells), elevated liver enzymes, or low platelet count. HELLP may seem like preeclampsia.
Risks: serious illness, stillbirth, placental abruption, placental failure, intrauterine asphyxia, extreme premature birth, and death
Placenta occurs when the placenta (organ that supplies food and oxygen to the baby during pregnancy) detaches from the wall of the womb (uterus) before delivery. The most common symptoms are vaginal bleeding and painful contractions. Blood and oxygen supply to the baby may also be affected, leading to fetal distress.
Risks: shock, blood clotting, organ failure, need for hysterectomy, premature birth, stillbirth, oxygen deprivation for baby, and restricted growth of baby
Baby blues - A condition many woman feel in the days right after a birth of a baby. Feelings may include mood swings, crying for no reason, sadness, loneliness, impatience, irritability, restlessness, anxiety,
Fallopian tube - the tube which extends from the side of the uterus and ends near the ovary. The egg released from the ovary travels through this tube to reach the uterus.
Gestational diabetes - a disorder in which the body has problems using carbohydrates starting or first recognized during pregnancy.
Hypertension - High blood pressure.
Ovary - two glands on each side of the female's pelvis in which the egg develops.
Placenta - Flattened, round mass of spongy tissue that contains a lot of blood vessels. It attaches to the inside of the uterine wall and carries food and oxygen to the fetus, and carries wastes away from the fetus.
Postpartum depression - A condition a woman may feel in the weeks following the birth of a baby or even months later. The feelings may be similar to baby blues but are much stronger.
Psychosis - A serious mental illness where the individual may lose touch with reality, hear or see things that are not there and/or see things differently than they are.
Threatened miscarriage - Vaginal bleeding or spotting with or without cramping occurring early in the pregnancy which may lead to loss of the fetus.
Uterine implantation - Process by which the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus.
REMEMBER: If you ever feel something is wrong, contact your healthcare provider right away!