Finding out that either you, or your partner, are pregnant is an exciting time full of anticipation for the upcoming expansion of your family. However, the body goes through a lot during pregnancy and the entire process of carrying a baby can take a physical and mental toll. You are likely to be hyper-vigilant about these changes, and although some are relatively minor and simply cause irritation, others are potentially serious and should be checked out. Here are three health complications to watch out for during pregnancy:
Pre-eclampsia is a condition that can affect some women in the second half of their pregnancy or soon after they have given birth. If left untreated, it can put both the mother and baby at risk as it can increase the chances of the baby being born prematurely or not developing as it should in the womb. Symptoms include having high blood pressure and protein in your urine. Although you are unlikely to notice these symptoms yourself, they can be picked up early on in your antenatal appointments, so it is essential that you keep up-to-date with your appointments. However, the condition can appear quickly and you may notice symptoms such as swelling, severe headaches, and blurred vision. If this is the case, seek medical advice as soon as possible to help protect you and your baby.
Maternal cardiac arrest is the occurrence of sudden cardiac arrest during pregnancy, which involves the heartbeat stopping abruptly and unexpectedly. Although this is a relatively rare occurrence, it of course places both the mother and child at huge risk, so it is important to be aware of what should be done in such situations. If maternal cardiac arrest does occur, it is still possible to carry out CPR in pregnancy while waiting for medical assistance. Remember the CPR essentials of performing chest compressions to the beat of a familiar song such as ‘Stayin Alive’ by the Bee Gees. Perform 30 compressions followed by two rescue breaths before starting with the compressions again. Your quick CPR response could be a life saver for mother and child.
Although vaginal bleeding in pregnancy is relatively common due to cervical changes, and is usually nothing to worry about, it could also be a sign that something is not quite right. Light spotting early in your pregnancy, especially around the time you would normally have your period, is normal and a sign that the embryo is implanting itself into the wall of your womb. However, if you are at all worried, or the bleeding is accompanied by abdominal pain, make sure that you get checked out by a healthcare professional in order to rule out more serious conditions such as a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. You will be examined using an ultrasound scan and blood tests, and you might have to stay in hospital for further observations to ensure that you and your baby remain safe and well.