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Five complications of pregnancy to be aware of: symptoms and treatment

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By Dr Madhu Goel

Most women will often experience some amount of nausea and vomiting in the first few weeks of pregnancy. However, sometimes this nausea and vomiting can be severe enough to cause dehydration. Hyperemesis gravidarum is the medical term given to excessive nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. The cause of this condition largely remains unknown. When nausea and vomiting of pregnancy is severe enough to affect the quality of life, it needs to be treated. If you experience any of the symptoms, consult your doctor immediately. Note that the treatment includes:

• Rest
• Small frequent sweet meals
• Medications
• Sometimes admission and intravenous fluids may be required

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Bleeding in Pregnancy

This could signify different things. In early pregnancy, a small amount of bleeding may indicate threatened abortion and you might require rest and supportive treatment. Excessive bleeding with main may indicate an inevitable or incomplete abortion and you may require immediate medical attention and intervention. A brownish discharge may imply a missed abortion and may require termination. In late pregnancy, painless bleeding can be due to low lying placenta. Bleeding accompanied by pain may be because of abruptio placentae and may require urgent medical intervention.

Anaemia during Pregnancy

In India, a very common problem during pregnancy is anemia or low hemoglobin. When you have low hemoglobin, it means there are not enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to the baby. It can cause fatigue and tiredness. While there can be different causes of anemia, the most common type of anemia is iron deficiency anemia. While iron tablets are usually prescribed to all pregnant women, it is recommended that the mother opts for an iron rich diet. A small simple way to increase iron levels is to cook one meal in the iron vessels.

High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy

This should be regularly checked. High blood pressure is the most common medical complication of pregnancy. When the blood pressure is more than 140/90 mmHg it is labelled as hypertension. High blood pressure in pregnancy can lead to a lot of complications like pre-ecclamsia, eclampsia, preterm birth, IUGR, etc. Regular blood pressure medicines should be taken as advised by the doctor. It may also require rest, regular investigations, constant monitoring of blood pressure and an early delivery.

Diabetes in pregnancy

Diabetes in pregnancy is an important complication of pregnancy. Diabetes can be pre-existing, or it may develop in pregnancy, when it is called gestational diabetes. When the diabetes is pre-existing, pregnancy should be carefully planned. The blood sugars must be optimally controlled before pregnancy is planned. Uncontrolled sugars at the time of conception can lead to congenital anomalies in the baby. Sometimes women develop high blood sugars during pregnancy. This will require diet modifications and oral medications or insulin depending on the blood sugar of the mother.

(The author is Associate Director- Obstetrics and Gynecology at Fortis La Femme, New Delhi. Views expressed are the author's own.)

Disclaimer: The article is for information purpose only. Consult your doctor before taking any medication/s or treatment/s.