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  • These are complications of pregnancy, which can be health problems that arise during pregnancy. These can affect the baby’s or mother’s health. Some women experience health problems during pregnancy. Other women may have health issues. before They become pregnant, which could cause complications. To reduce the chance of complications, pregnant women should receive medical care during and before pregnancy.

    Before Pregnancy

    Talk to your doctor about any health issues you may have. Your doctor may want to modify the way you’re being treated for a medical condition. Some medicines that are used to treat certain health issues could prove harmful if they are taken during pregnancy. Stopping medicines you don’t need can be more dangerous than taking them if you get pregnant. Also, discuss any issues you may have had with your previous pregnancy. You will have a healthy, normal baby if your health is under control and you receive good prenatal care.

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    During Pregnancy

    There are many complications and symptoms that can arise from pregnancy. These may include mild, annoying, and sometimes even life-threatening discomforts. Sometimes, it can be hard for women to know which symptoms are normal. There are many problems that can arise during pregnancy. These include mental and physical conditions that may affect the baby’s health as well as the mother. These problems may be caused by pregnancy or can get worse. While many problems do not cause serious complications, some may become more severe and can lead to harm for the baby or mother. There are many ways to deal with problems during pregnancy. If you have concerns about your pregnancy, contact your prenatal care provider immediately.

    These are common problems or conditions that a mother may face during pregnancy.

    Anemiaexternal icon

    Anemia refers to a low number of red blood cells. The underlying cause of anemia can be treated to restore healthy red blood cell count. Anemia during pregnancy can make women feel tired and weak. Iron and folic acids supplements can help. Your iron levels will be checked by your doctor throughout pregnancy.

    Hear Her Campaign

    The Hear Her campaign supports CDC in its efforts to prevent pregnancy-related death by sharing potentially lifesaving messages about warning signs.

    Urinary Tract Infectionsexternal Icon (UTI).

    UTI refers to a bacterial infection of the urinary tract. If you have:

    • Burning sensations when you go to the bathroom.
    • Fatigue, tiredness, or shakiness.
    • A need to go to the toilet frequently.
    • Pressure in the lower abdomen.
    • Urine with a bad odor or that looks cloudy or reddish.
    • Back pain or nausea.

    It is important to consult your doctor if you suspect you may have a UTI. A sample of your urine can be tested by your doctor to determine if you have a UTI. The infection can be treated with antibiotics, which will often make it disappear within a few days. Sometimes, women have no symptoms but may carry bacteria in their bladders. To determine if you have bacteria in your bladder, your health care provider will likely test it during early pregnancy. If so, they will prescribe antibiotics.

    Mental Health Conditions

    Some women experience depression during or after pregnancy. Depression symptoms include:

    • Low or sad mood.
    • A lack of interest in enjoyable activities.
    • Achieved changes in appetite, sleep, energy, and mood.
    • Thinking, concentrating and making decisions.
    • Feelings that you are worthless, ashamed, or guilty.
    • Thinks life is too short.

    Depression is when a combination of symptoms lasts more than one week. A woman who is suffering from depression during pregnancy may find it difficult to take care of her baby and herself. Postpartum depression can also be caused by depression that occurs before the baby is born. Both mother and baby need to get treatment. Talking to your doctor early about depression is important so that you can make a plan.

    Hypertension (High Blood Pressure).

    A pregnant woman’s risk of developing problems is high blood pressure that has not been controlled before or during pregnancy. This increases the risk of maternal complications like preeclampsiaexternal icons, placental abruption (when placenta is separated from the wall in the uterus) and gestational diabetes. Preterm delivery, infants born too small for their gestational age and infant death are all possible outcomes for these women. It is important to talk to your doctor about blood pressure issues before you get pregnant. This will ensure that the right treatment and control can be given. High blood pressure treatment is essential before, during and after pregnancy.

    Diabetes During Pregnancy

    Find out about the types of diabetes that can occur during pregnancy and how many women are affected. Also, find out what the CDC is doing to address this important topic. Diabetes management can help women have healthy pregnancies, and healthy babies.

    Obesity, Weight Gain

    Recent research suggests that women who are heavier than they should be before becoming pregnant have a higher risk of complications during pregnancy, such as stillbirth, GDM and preeclampsia. Research by the CDC has also shown that being overweight during pregnancy can lead to increased health care costs and physician visits, as well as longer hospital stays. Women who are overweight or obese before they become pregnant are more likely to have healthy pregnancies. Find out how to maintain a healthy weight and reach your goal weight before you become pregnant.

    Infectionsexternal icon

    Your baby is protected during pregnancy from common illnesses like the common cold and stomach bugs. Some infections can prove to be dangerous for you and your baby. Some infections can be prevented by simple steps like hand washing and avoiding certain foods. It is not always easy to know if someone has an infection. Sometimes you may not even feel sick. You should consult your doctor if you suspect you have an infection, or if you feel you are at high risk.

    HIV, viral hepatitis and STDs can all complicate pregnancy. They may also have severe consequences for a mother’s baby, as well as her pregnancy outcome. These infections can be prevented by screening and treatment, as well as vaccinations against viruses such the hepatitis B virus and human papillomavirus.

    Hyperemesis Gravidarumexternal icon

    Many pregnant women experience nausea and vomiting (or “morning sick”), especially during the first three months of their pregnancy. HCG (human-chorionic gonadotropin) is a hormone that rapidly rises in blood. This hormone is released by the placenta. Hyperemesis gravidarum is a condition that causes severe, persistent nausea or vomiting in pregnancy. This is more severe than “morning sick” and can require intensive treatment.

    Learn more about pregnancy complications from womenshealth.gov.external icon

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    The CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health studies pregnancy-related issues. It aims to make pregnancy healthier, prevent or manage complications, and reduce poor outcomes. This includes death, which is the most severe adverse outcome. The United States has approximately 6 million pregnancies annually. Even small advances in preventing complications from pregnancy can make a huge difference in the quality of life of thousands of pregnant women. With improved maternal health data and methods to measure and analyze it, we can promote evidence-based public prevention. Here are some highlights from our research.


    Obesity during pregnancy in the United States is a common problem. It also increases obstetrical risk. The CDC collaborated with Kaiser Permanente Northwest to conduct a study that looked at the associations between indicators of health care use and body-mass index in pregnancy. It found that obesity during pregnancy was associated with higher use of health services. Higher than normal BMI was associated to significantly higher prenatal fetal testing, obstetrical ultrasonographic exams, medication dispensed by the outpatient pharmacy, phone calls to the department obstetrics & gynecology and prenatal visits. This was also associated with significantly fewer prenatal visits to nurse practitioners and physician assistants. The increased length of stay that was associated with higher BMI was mainly due to an increase in the number of cesarean deliveries and obesity-related high risk conditions. (Association between obesity in pregnancy and higher use of health careexternal symbol N Engl J Med 2008,358:1444-53. )

    The CDC supported Brigham and Women’s Hospital university investigators in developing Balance after Baby, a lifestyle intervention program specifically designed to meet the needs postpartum women. This study had the primary goal of helping women who have just had a baby to achieve a normal weight by providing them with an internet-based program that encourages healthy eating and exercise. They could also participate at their own pace.

    High maternal mortality in the United States

    Maternal morbidity refers to both physical and psychological conditions that are caused by or aggravated during pregnancy. They can have a negative effect on a woman’s health. More than 50,000 American women are affected by severe maternal morbidity (SMM) each year. Recent trends show that this burden is steadily rising.

    SMM increases are likely to be driven by a variety of factors including maternal age, pre-pregnancy weight gain, pre-existing chronic conditions and cesarean births. SMM is on the rise and has many consequences. These include increased health care use, higher direct medical expenses, longer hospitalizations, and long-term rehabilitation. Review of SMM cases can help identify areas for improvement in maternal care quality. Monitoring SMM cases will allow you to monitor their effectiveness.

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