Pregnancy Complications

Preeclampsia

High blood pressure during pregnancy is called preeclampsia, or toxemia. This complication of pregnancy usually occurs after about 30 weeks of pregnancy.
 
 
  • High blood pressure (usually around 140/90)
  • Protein in the urine
  • Swelling of the hands and face
  • Sudden weight gain (1 pound a day or more)
  • Blurred vision
  • Severe headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Intense stomach pain.
     
A doctor usually diagnoses preeclampsia through a blood pressure test, a urine test, and a complete physical evaluation.
 
The only cure for this complication is delivery, which may not be best for the baby. Labor will probably be induced if the condition is mild and the woman is near term (37 to 40 weeks of pregnancy). If a woman is not yet ready for labor, her doctor may monitor her and her baby closely. Women may require bed rest at home or in the hospital until the blood pressure stabilizes or until delivery.
 

Pre-Term Labor

Early, or pre-term, labor is labor occurring after 20 weeks but before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy.
 
With this complication, symptoms may include:
 
  • Contractions, either painful or painless, any time during pregnancy that occur more than four times an hour or that are less than 15 minutes apart
  • Menstrual-like cramps that come and go
  • Abdominal cramps, with or without diarrhea
  • Dull backache that may radiate around to the abdomen
  • Increase in or change in color in vaginal discharge
  • Constant or intermittent pelvic pressure.
     
Your doctor diagnoses pre-term labor by monitoring your uterine contractions. You will wear an elastic belt around your waist that holds a transducer or small pressure-sensitive recorder that records your uterine contractions.
 
Pregnancy and Pain

Pregnancy Problems

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