Common Complications During Pregnancy & How to Prevent Them?

by Dr. Sandhya Rani

Due to changing lifestyles, eating habits and stress patterns in everyday life, complications during pregnancy have become more common than before. Furthermore, normal symptoms of pregnancy are often confused with symptoms of complications. Most problems are often mild and don’t progress however, contacting the doctor is always the safer option in case one has concerns during pregnancy.

Here are some of the most common complications women may experience during pregnancy:

High blood pressure

High blood pressure is a condition when the arteries and the placenta are narrowed, causing hindrance to blood flow from the heart to the organs. High blood pressure can cause other complications like preeclampsia. This can cause complications during pregnancy, including premature birth or the baby being underweight. To avoid such complications, it’s important to maintain blood pressure during pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes

When the body fails to process sugars effectively, the condition is deemed as Gestational Diabetes. This causes higher levels of sugar in the bloodstream. 

Pregnant women can maintain the sugar levels in their body by modifying their meal plans. In some cases, insulin might be needed. This condition normally subsides post pregnancy.


Also known as toxemia, Preeclampsia occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy causing high blood pressure affecting the kidneys. Most doctors suggest delivery of the baby and placenta as a treatment to avoid the disease from further progressing. The doctor may induce labor if the pregnancy has reached 37 to 40 weeks after discussing risks and benefits with the patient.

If it’s too early for the delivery to happen, the doctor needs to monitor the patient and the baby closely. Medications are prescribed to get blood pressure under control and help the maturity of the baby if the pregnancy isn't full term yet. Hospitalization is recommended to allow close monitoring.

Preterm labour

If labour occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy, it’s known as preterm labor. During this time, the baby isn’t fully developed. While certain medications can stop labor, doctors usually recommend bed rest to avoid delivery.


The loss of pregnancy during the first 20 weeks is called a miscarriage. According to a study done by American Pregnancy Association (APA), up to 20 percent of pregnancies among healthy women end is a miscarriage. This can sometimes occur even before a woman even becomes aware of the fact that she is pregnant.

Another condition is stillbirth which is a loss of pregnancy after week 20. The cause of it isn’t known a lot of the times but here are some of the issues that can cause stillbirth:

  • Problems with the placenta
  • Pre-existing health issues faced by the mother
  • Infections of some sort


Anemia is a condition where the mother has a low number of blood cells in the body. Anemia leads to tiredness and weakness and can also cause pale skin. Most cases of anemia during pregnancy occur due to deficiency, hence supplements of iron and folic acid definitely help.


Infections can be harmful to both the mother and the baby and a variety of bacterial, parasitic and viral infections can cause complications during pregnancy. Some of these infections include: 

  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Group B Streptococcus
  • Hepatitis B virus, this can spread to the baby too
  • Influenza
  • Toxoplasmosis, which is an infection caused by parasites in cat feces, raw meat and soil
  • A yeast infection
  • Zika virus.

Some infections can be prevented by washing hands often and maintaining sanitization. Other infections like hepatitis B virus and influenza can be prevented by vaccination.

Prevention is better than cure:
How to prevent complications during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, not all complications can be prevented but following certain steps helps promote a healthy pregnancy and prevents high-risk pregnancies:

  • It’s important to consult with a doctor before preparing to become pregnant. In case there are any pre-existing medical conditions, the doctor will adjust treatment to prepare for pregnancy.
  • Nutrition during Pregnancy like consuming fruits, vegetables, fiber and lean protein can help
  • Take prenatal vitamins daily.
  • Regularly go for prenatal visits
  • Quit smoking, consuming alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • Ask your pregnancy specialist if any medication you’re already taking can be continued during pregnancy.
  • Reduce stress levels. Music, meditation or Yoga always helps!

For any queries or treatment related to pregnancy, you can visit the best obstetric & gynaecology hospital in Whitefield, Bangalore

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