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Pregnancy Complications: What Mothers Need to Know

Medically reviewed by Mary Rani Cadiz, MD · Obstetrics and Gynecology

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Jun 24, 2021

    Pregnancy Complications: What Mothers Need to Know

    Pregnancy complications are health problems and concerns that happen during pregnancy. Thankfully, if caught early, they can be managed promptlyand most pregnancies these days can be carried to term. 

    Regardless, it’s still very important to be aware of any possible complications during pregnancy. This helps mothers know any possible signs of problems so that they can seek help from their doctor as soon as possible.

    Pregnancy complications mothers should know about

    Hearing your doctor tell you that you have a complication in your pregnancy can be a difficult experience to deal with. This is especially true if you’re not familiar with the problem, since you have no clue about what to expect.

    However, it’s important to remember that the majority of these complications can be managed and treated. So it is important to be aware of them, and to know any possible symptoms to watch out for so that you can seek help as soon as possible.

    Urinary tract infections

    For most people, UTIs or urinary tract infections are nothing to be too worried about. But for pregnant women, UTI is one of the pregnancy complications that you should never ignore.

    This is because if a mother has UTI, there is risk of preterm labor, ascending infection, or even sepsis. This is why if you experience any symptoms, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor as soon as you can.

    Here are some symptoms to watch out for:

    • Burning sensation while urinating
    • Fever
    • Cloudy or reddish urine
    • Pressure in your lower abdomen
    • Back pain, or nausea

    Hyperemesis gravidarum

    Hyperemesis gravidarum is an early pregnancy complication that’s similar to morning sickness, except that it’s much more severe, and can happen anytime throughout the day.

    This condition can cause severe nausea, and even lead to hospitalization due to weakness and dehydration in more serious cases. If left untreated, this can lead to electrolyte imbalance and malnutrition because of the constant nausea and vomiting.

    If you experience serious nausea during your pregnancy, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about it.

    Placenta previa

    Placenta previa is a pregnancy complication wherein the placenta partially or completely covers the cervix. This means that when a mother with placenta previa gives birth, it can cause severe bleeding.

    Thankfully, if doctors are aware of this condition before you give birth, they can take the necessary steps to deal with placenta previa as soon as possible. Getting regular checkups throughout your pregnancy, as well as ultrasound can help detect this condition early on.


    Preeclampsia is one of the pregnancy complications that you might have heard of before. This is a condition wherein a pregnant woman has high blood pressure that develops after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It is usually accompanied by protein spillage in the urine as seen in urine dipstick test or 24-hour urine collection. The symptoms of preeclampsia are similar to high blood pressure but with possible end-organ damage, so it’s important to get regular checkups, and to monitor your blood pressure throughout your pregnancy. In severe cases, complications can be severe headache, blurring of vision, abdominal pain, edema, and abruptio placenta.

    Preeclampsia also tends to go away after the mother gives birth.After birth, the mother needs to be monitored closely for persistent high blood pressures.

    Gestational diabetes

    Gestational diabetes is a condition wherein a pregnant mother develops diabetes during her pregnancy. The insulin is not enough or doesn’t work as properly in pregnant women. It is still unknown what exactly causes this condition, and there are also no outward symptoms for gestational diabetes.

    However, mothers who are obese or overweight when they become pregnant have a higher risk of gestational diabetes.

    Ectopic pregnancy

    An ectopic pregnancy is a type of pregnancy wherein the egg is not implanted inside the uterus. Instead, it is implanted in the fallopian tube.

    This can be very dangerous because it can rupture and lead to internal bleeding. In such cases, there may be a need to remove the damaged fallopian tube. Symptoms can include vaginal bleeding, feeling dizzy, as well as abdominal pain.

    How can you lower your risk of pregnancy complications?

    Some pregnancy complications happen spontaneously. Still,the best way to lower the risk of pregnancy complications is to stay fit and healthy during, or better yet, even before your pregnancy. Be sure to eat healthy foods, avoid drinking and smoking, and try to stay active while you are pregnant.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Mary Rani Cadiz, MD

    Obstetrics and Gynecology

    Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Jun 24, 2021

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