Pregnancy is often planned, and more often a surprise, joy for many parents. And those determined to add to their family unit tend to hope for a fairy tale pregnancy and delivery. But while no two pregnancies are alike, most of them have one thing in common: complications of some form. Statistical data from a decade ago suggested that 94% of pregnancies suffered complications. Those numbers are likely bloated, but issues such as obesity and preeclampsia can still cause higher risks of birth injuries or require the help of a birth injury attorney. Complications may arise before, during, or after pregnancy, and most can be easily reversed or medically treated so they don’t potentially harm the infant or mother. But there are some pregnancy complications to be aware of.
Over 3 million Americans are diagnosed or otherwise discover they’re obese annually. It’s usually a self-controlled condition that can be reversed with the right nutritional plan and fitness efforts. However, maternal obesity is not only dangerous for the mother, but it also puts the fetus at risk. Maternal obesity has been linked to multiple complications including gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and stillbirth. Mothers who lose weight prior to becoming pregnant statistically have healthier pregnancies and infants.
High Blood Pressure
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) occurs in up to 8% of pregnancies. If untreated, High Blood Pressure can lead to eclampsia issues, stroke, pregnancy induction, preterm delivery, and low birth weight. Fortunately, it can be detected early by a competent physician and easily treated once diagnosed properly.
Gestational diabetes mellitus is the pregnancy form of diabetes in which a placenta-caused hormone disrupts the mother’s ability to use insulin correctly. Glucose then builds up and stores within cells. Unlike forms of other diabetes, GDM is not actually caused by lack of insulin and the symptoms of the condition generally disappear after delivery. But infant complications may include macrosomia (overly large fetus) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Preeclampsia, previously known as toxemia, is a potentially serious or even fatal condition linked to extreme maternal age (below 19 or over 35), high blood pressure and other types of potential organ failure during the mid to final trimesters of pregnancy. The main symptoms of preeclampsia are high blood pressure, swelling of the limbs–especially the hands and feet, and protein traces in the urine. The condition usually clears within days or weeks, but if diagnosed just prior to delivery and the mother’s too weak to deliver naturally a cesarean section may be required. Preeclampsia may also lead to low birth weight and preterm birth, placental abruption, eclampsia (hbp with seizures), brain injury, and cardiovascular disease.
Low Birth Weight
Low birthweight occurs in about 8% of all pregnancies, and about 70% of those are premature. Low birthweight or prematurity is often caused by pre-maternal health, vices such as smoking and alcohol use during pregnancy, and not receiving proper prenatal care. But it can also be a result of undiagnosed or untreated gestational diseases or infections, complications from in vitro-fertilization, or due to certain birth defects in the fetus. Complications can usually be diagnosed and treated by a competent medical team. But if you’ve done everything correctly and you or your child still suffer due to medical negligence, it may be time to discuss your options with a knowledgeable birth injury attorney.