For most women, pregnancy comes with some degree of discomfort: nausea, swollen feet, sensitivity to smells, various aches and pains among others. Usually, while these conditions can make a mama to be and even her husband quite miserable, they are usually not threats to the mother’s health.
However, there are a few conditions that demand immediate medical attention, to ensure the wellbeing of mother and child. Sometimes, they may not present any major symptoms, and can only be picked up during antenatal visits, when your health practitioner examines your urine and vital signs such as blood pressure. Let’s talk about some of the more common complications here:
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTI): The growing uterus presses on the woman’s bladder in pregnancy, making it difficult to totally empty the bladder when she urinates. This creates an environment for bacteria to grow. Occasionally, bacteria travels up the urinary tract, and can result in an infection. If left untreated, a Urinary Tract Infection can cause contractions, resulting in premature delivery. some symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
- Sensation of cramps or contractions. They could be mild or moderate
- Pain or discomfort when you urinate
- Increased need to urinate (this is tricky, as pregnant women generally have to pee more often than usual)
- A general sense of ill-health
- Appearance of blood in urine
Any of these symptoms require you to see your doctor urgently.
- Gestational diabetes: This condition results when a pregnant woman develops insulin resistance as a result of hormones produced by the placenta. Insulin is a hormone which helps the body process and store sugar at the right levels. A woman with gestational diabetes may give birth to a baby that is too large, causing complications during delivery. Symptoms include the following:
- Increased thirst and hunger
- Blurry vision
- Increased urination
- Preeclampsia: This condition is quite dangerous, as it can result in your baby not getting enough nutrients and oxygen during pregnancy. It can also harm a pregnant woman’s vital organs such as liver, kidney and brain. Some of the symptoms include:
- Protein in the urine
- Elevated blood pressure
- Swelling in hands and face
- rapid weight gain
These conditions are usually not very symptomatic, as you can mistake their symptoms for the typical discomforts associated with pregnancy. For this reason, antenatal visits should be attended religiously. Also, if you notice any symptom, or anything at all that makes you worried or concerned, see your doctor immediately. It is always better to find out that it is nothing, than to ignore a potentially life threatening condition.
Expectant dads and moms, take note!
This article is for educational purposes only, and should not be seen as a substitute for professional medical advice.