6 Common Health Problems in Pregnancy

by Sadie Brooks Journalist

While most pregnancies go without any issues, some women experience certain health issues during this period. These complications can affect the mother’s health, the baby’s health, or both, and even women who were previously healthy or had a healthy pregnancy in the past can experience issues. If you’re pregnant now or planning to work on it in the future, here are a few common health problems to know about: 

Gestational diabetes 

Gestational diabetes is a condition that develops during pregnancy in women who did not suffer from diabetes before their pregnancy. In healthy bodies, some food gets digested and turned into glucose which is used as fuel. Sugars get absorbed by the blood, and the pancreas makes insulin to get them into the cells.

During pregnancy, some women, due to hormonal changes, experience a stop in insulin production or their bodies start using it differently, causing glucose to build up in the blood, thus resulting in gestational diabetes. 

Luckily, gestational diabetes can be treated with medication and lifestyle changes. And if left undiagnosed and untreated, it can cause high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and a higher risk of C-section. 


This serious medical condition involves the placenta and can cause many complications, such as premature delivery and even death. Scientists still don’t know the cause of preeclampsia, but there are risk factors that boost the possibility of this condition: 

  • First pregnancy

  • History of preeclampsia

  • High blood pressure, diabetes, kidney issues, lupus, and some other existing conditions

  • Pregnancy after 35 

  • Multiple pregnancies

  • Obesity 

High blood pressure

Hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, is a condition that is caused by narrowed blood arteries that carry blood from the heart to the organs. The narrowing causes the pressure to increase, which makes it harder for blood to reach the placenta and feed the fetus. High blood pressure in pregnancy can also put the mother at risk of preterm labor and preeclampsia.

It’s crucial to diagnose high blood pressure in early pregnancy and get the care of the best obstetrician to carry your pregnancy to full term. With proper health care, it’s possible to keep high blood pressure under control and eliminate the problem completely after delivery. 


Due to hormonal changes, future mothers often experience constipation in pregnancy, especially very early in the process. Luckily, with a few lifestyle changes, this condition can be controlled successfully: 

  • Eating foods high in fiber

  • Exercising regularly to keep the metabolism high

  • Drinking plenty of water

  • Avoiding iron supplements which often cause constipation (consult with your doctor about iron deficiency substitutes) 


Often harmless but quite embarrassing, incontinence is a common problem that befalls women during and after pregnancy. Incontinence causes a sudden spurt of urine that can’t be prevented, usually, when you laugh, sneeze, cough, make a sudden move, or get up from a sitting position. This embarrassing condition can be temporary, caused by the relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles in preparation for labor. 

Luckily, there are many exercises for the muscles around your bladder that you can do before, during, and after the delivery and cure your incontinence. These exercises include squeezing and relaxing of the pelvic floor muscles AKA Kegel exercises. This is where your obstetrician and your midwife can help—they can show the exercises and give you a “training” schedule. 

Varicose veins 

Varicose veins are another health concern during pregnancy. This condition affects veins, which usually become swollen. Mostly not harmful, this condition that usually affects leg veins is undoubtedly uncomfortable. It’s possible to also get varicose veins in the vulva region (the vaginal opening), but these usually go away after the baby arrives. Women who happen to develop varicose veins can do the following things: 

  • Avoid prolonged standing 

  • Avoid sitting with crossed legs

  • Avoid putting too much weight during pregnancy

  • Practice lifting up the legs whenever there’s a chance

  • Try sleeping with elevated legs by using pillows under the feet

  • Use compression socks and tights (these are available at pharmacies and can ease the symptoms of the condition)

  • Practice foot and antenatal exercises (walking, swimming, light cardio—anything that boosts circulation) 

Final words

Pregnancy is a truly wonderful thing, but there are complications that can occur. Luckily, with good prenatal care and early diagnosis, it’s possible to minimize the risks of pregnancy issues. It’s crucial to see your doctor regularly so they can nip the issues in the bud or prevent them altogether. Plus, talking with your doctor can help with mental health concerns such as depression, stress, and anxiety, which are common during and after pregnancy. 

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About Sadie Brooks Advanced   Journalist

31 connections, 0 recommendations, 174 honor points.
Joined APSense since, June 7th, 2022, From San Francisco, United States.

Created on Jan 27th 2023 04:39. Viewed 76 times.


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