Complications of Pregnancy

Complications of pregnancy are problems that happen during a woman’s pregnancy. Complications during childbirth are called obstetric labor complications, and problems after childbirth are called puerperal disorders. Severe complications of pregnancy, childbirth and puerperium are present in 1.6% of mothers in the US, and in 1.5% of mothers in Canada.

After giving birth (puerperium), 87% to 94% of women report at least one health problem. Thirty-one percent of women report having a long-term health problem that persists after six months after giving birth. The complication of pregnancy are:

Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) occurs when blood pressure rises during pregnancy and can cause problems such as kidney damage and stroke. PIH is the most common pregnancy-related problem in Western countries and affects up to 10% of women who are pregnant, although it may occur in as many as 20%.

Gestational diabetes develops when a woman without previously diagnosed diabetes has high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. It is likely that the mother has diabetes during pregnancy since high blood sugar (glucose) is a symptom of diabetes. Gestational diabetes typically starts when the fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus and lasts until delivery when glucose levels return to normal.

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) refers to nausea and vomiting in pregnancy that is so severe it affects normal activities and expected weight gain. HG is defined as nausea and vomiting so severe that the woman loses more than 5% of her body mass along with electrolyte disturbance. There is a difference between complications of pregnancy and symptoms and discomforts. That’s because there are things that happen during pregnancy that are not always uncomfortable but can actually be dangerous.