Diagnosing and Treating Pregnancy-Related Complications
While some expectant mothers must deal with a pre-existing health issue during the prenatal conception period, there are a handful of complications specifically connected to her pregnancy that could arise during the 9 months of carrying her child.
Preterm Birth Prevention
Preterm birth is categorized by a child being born before 37 weeks of pregnancy, before he or she can fully grow and develop properly in the utero. The leading cause of infant death is if the child is born before week 31 or 32. Preterm birth may also be associated with long-term mental disabilities, cerebral palsy and vision issues. Preterm birth prevention includes undertaking actions to reduce the risk of a preterm birth such as seeking prenatal care on a regular basis, the consumption of prenatal vitamins, remaining at a healthy weight (not underweight or overweight), quitting smoking and alcohol use and remaining the healthiest you possibly can throughout the pregnancy.
Twins, triplets and even quadruplets may not always be planned for, but they can be an exceptional surprise for an expectant mother and her partner. Multiple gestations, however, increase the risk of preterm labor with each additional baby. In fact, the average twin pregnancy lasts 36 weeks, and triplet and quadruplet pregnancies last around 32 weeks. Being closely monitored during a multiple gestation pregnancy can help prevent low birth weight, gestational diabetes and the loss of a fetus, which are three common pregnancy complications that occur when multiple gestations are involved.
Placenta Previa Abruption, Vasa Previa
Placenta previa occurs when the placenta is too close to the cervix. Placental abruption, however, occurs when the placenta tears away from the wall of the uterus; not only is this very dangerous, but can threaten the health of the child and the mother. Vasa previa is a rare condition that is also very dangerous, with blood vessels crossing over the cervix. Ultrasound may be helpful in the diagnosis and management of all three of these conditions.
Intrauterine Growth Restriction
When a baby grows poorly inside of the womb, it is defined as intrauterine growth restriction. If this is the case with an expectant mother, her child may be born with a significantly low birth weight. Serious health problems could ensue. For this reason, we have a strict approach when it comes to dealing with – and even preventing – intrauterine growth restriction. To keep a woman from being diagnosed with the condition, our physicians advise that expectant mothers attend all prenatal appointments to monitor the baby’s growth, check the medications being taken during pregnancy, keep their bodies well-nourished and cease alcohol and smoking immediately. Bed rest and labor induction at an early stage may be necessary for a mother to protect the health of her unborn baby. However in most cases, careful observation will allow the pregnancy to continue until term.
Hypertension and Preeclampsia
When a woman’s blood pressure is heightened after 20 weeks of pregnancy, she may be developing preeclampsia. This condition may be dangerous for both the baby and mother – especially since there are sometimes no other symptoms. This condition can keep a baby from receiving the proper amount of blood and oxygen from their mother, and place the mother at risk for medical complications. For those women with preeclampsia, our team of doctors will work with the mother and her obstetrician to help her and her baby receive the safest care possible.