Health problems that can develop during pregnancy are known as pregnancy risks or complications, and they can occur for many different reasons. Some are related to existing health problems that women have before pregnancy, while others appear on their own during pregnancy. They can affect both the mother and the baby. While some complications can't be controlled by the mother, some risks can be minimized by making certain choices before or during the pregnancy.
Types of Pregnancy Risk
Some pregnancy risks stem from health problems before pregnancy. For example, obesity, eating disorders and diabetes can all lead to complications during pregnancy. Asthma, depression, seizures, HIV, migraines, STDs, thyroid problems and uterine fibroids are other pre-existing health conditions that can lead to pregnancy complications. For some of these health issues, it’s recommended to manage them as best as possible prior to becoming pregnant. In other instances, getting pregnant is sometimes not recommended.
Women can develop a number of problems during pregnancy as well. They include depression, anemia, high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. Problems can also occur with how or where the fetus grows. An ectopic pregnancy, where the baby implants outside the uterus, is one example of this.
There are a number of steps that women can take to minimize risks during pregnancy. For many pre-existing health conditions, such as diabetes or obesity, steps can be taken to control these issues. During pregnancy, lifestyle choices like eating a healthy diet, exercising safely, avoiding alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs and practicing good hygiene at all times can help with many of the preventable complications. It’s best to work closely with a doctor on the proper strategy for preventing and treating the potential risks of pregnancy.
SOURCE: U.S. Office on Women's Health