What are Pregnancy Disorders?

Pregnant women run the risk of some disorders that could affect their health as well as their baby’s health. Although such cases are difficult to predict, they nevertheless need to be known. Some of them are:

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)
Gestational Diabetes Mellitus is a specific type of diabetes that only pregnant women get. To support the baby as it grows, the mother’s body makes hormones. In some women, these hormones work against their bodies, making them less able to make the insulin needed to get energy from body cells. Without this insulin, the level of sugar in the mother’s blood starts to build up, which, if left untreated, can cause health problems for both mother and baby.

Even though it usually goes away after the baby is born, GDM can affect the health of both mother and baby later in life. For instance, women who have GDM during pregnancy have a forty percent greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Preeclampsia describes an abnormal increase in a woman’s blood pressure after the 20th week of pregnancy. Preeclampsia is often associated with swelling in the face and hands. (A woman’s feet might swell, too, but swollen feet are common during healthy pregnancies; swollen feet do not always mean there is a problem.) This dangerous condition occurs in 3 percent to 4 percent of all pregnancies and is the leading cause of maternal and fetal death in the United States.Currently, there is no definite way to predict which pregnant women will develop preeclampsia and most doctors will test a pregnant woman’s urine on a regular basis.

Eclampsia is a more severe form of preeclampsia that can lead to seizures and coma. Estimates place the number of women affected by eclampsia at one in 200 women who have preeclampsia. Eclampsia can be fatal if it’s not treated quickly.

High blood pressure is one possible sign of preeclampsia. Having abnormal levels of protein in the urine is also part of preeclampsia. If you are pregnant and your blood pressure normally runs high, or is suddenly high, your health care provider may ask for frequent urine samples throughout your pregnancy, to test your urine for protein as a sign of preeclampsia.

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