Pregnancy Can Cause Serious Medical Complications
The medical conditions caused by pregnancy are wide-ranging, both in what aspect of a mother's health they affect and their level of seriousness. From indigestion, heartburn, and bloating all the way up to high blood pressure and gestational diabetes, some of those conditions risk both a mother's and her baby's health.
Being pregnant can cause a huge range of medical issues, from the annoying to the life-threatening. Still others threaten the health or even life of the baby. Many of the most common medical issues aren't serious but certainly aren't pleasant, including cramps, indigestion, heartburn, varicose veins, and a blocked nose. It can also cause more worrisome problems: being pregnant increases the risks of developing serious complications from influenza, for instance. More serious complications include anemia, high blood pressure, and certain kinds of placenta issues that may lead to bedrest or even premature delivery of the baby. Rare conditions in pregnant women, such as hyperemesis gravidarum, cause such intense vomiting that it can lead to women being hospitalized for dehydration. Both Kate Middleton and the comedian Amy Schumer were afflicted with hyperemesis. “It’s very miserable,” Dr. Amos Grunebaum, director of obstetrics at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, told TODAY. “You feel like you can’t do your daily activities, and you really want to eat and you can’t, and hopefully you get treatment really quickly.” Other conditions can cause a risk not just to the mother's health but to the baby's as well. Gestational diabetes, where a mother's blood sugar levels are too high, can cause preeclampsia, early delivery, the need for a Cesearean birth, or a baby born with low blood sugar, breathing problems, and jaundice, according to the U.S. Office on Women's Health.