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Pregnancy Complications – Need for Immediate Attention

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Complications – Premature Labor

Premature or preterm labor is when a woman goes into labor before the 37 th week of pregnancy, or three weeks before her due date. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the earlier pre-term labor is spotted and treated, the better chance of stopping it. When symptoms go untreated, the cervix may open and cause an early birth of the baby.

Premature babies need intensive care in the hospital to help with breathing, feeding, and regulation of body temperature. Any woman can have pre-term labor, but some women have a higher risk. Problems with the uterus or placenta and a history of pre-term birth with another pregnancy increase the risk of preterm labor. Dehydration also boosts the chances of pre-term labor.

So make sure your spouse drinks plenty of water especially in warm weather and after exercise to keep from becoming dehydrated. Call your doctor right away if your spouse displays any of these signs of premature labor:

* Contractions – She may or may not feel pain, but her abdomen or stomach will get very hard (feel like it is tightening) and then relax, on and off.
* Menstrual-like cramping – she may or may not be uncomfortable with these cramps that feel like menstrual cramps.
* Gas-type pains – Sharp pains in her stomach, diarrhea or nausea may be a sign of trouble.
* Low pelvic pressure – She may feel like the baby is putting a lot of pressure down very low inside.
* Low backache – She may have a very strong ache in her lower back or could just feel a dull ache in that area.
* Blood from her vagina – Light spotting or a significant amount of blood should be reported to the doctor right away. Blood can be red or brown in color.

Increased discharge from her vagina – Much more discharge than what she is used to during her pregnancy can be a sign of preterm labor. A sudden gush of a lot of water, or a small trickle that is continuous should also be reported to the doctor. Discharge can be watery, pinkish, or brownish in color.

Complications – Some Pregnancy Problems without Symptoms

Some Pregnancy Problems without Symptoms Some health problems your spouse may have during pregnancy do not have warning signs. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, one of these is Group B Streptococcus (GBS) infection. GBS is a common infection that rarely makes adults sick. The bacterium lives in the gastrointestinal system, along with many other harmless bacteria.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, between 10 to 30 percent of pregnant women carry GBS in their vagina and rectums. But, if GBS is passed to the baby during delivery, it can cause serious health problems in the newborn baby, such as pneumonia, blood infection, or infection of the tissues around the brain.

Because there are no symptoms of GBS, she will be tested at 35 to 37 weeks of pregnancy. The simple test involves swabbing the vagina and rectum for a sample of cells that are sent to a lab to look for GBS. If she is infected, she will be treated with intravenous (IV) antibiotics during labor and delivery to make sure the baby is protected.

Another problem is anemia, or having below-normal levels of iron in the blood. Iron is needed for hemoglobin (a protein in blood that helps take oxygen to body tissues for energy and growth) for your spouse and your baby. Iron also helps build bones and teeth. Most women do not have any symptoms of anemia. For those who do, extreme fatigue is often the only sign. Your doctor will check for signs of anemia using routine blood tests during different stages of the pregnancy. If your spouse has anemia, she will be given iron supplements.

Also an ectopic pregnancy is left untreated, the embryo will continue to grow till it ruptures the fallopian tube. This could result in complications, and may even be fatal for the expecting mother.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, you can help her prevent anemia by getting her to eat lots of iron-rich foods like lean red meat, potatoes with skins, raisins, broccoli, leafy green vegetables, whole-grain breads and iron-fortified cereals.

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