There are many changes that occur to an expecting mum’s body as her baby grows inside her. Apart from the growing belly, there are things like morning sickness, fluid retention, stretch marks, itchy skin and swollen feet.
And that’s during an uncomplicated pregnancy. It’s normal to have emotional responses to these changes. However, when more complicated physical issues arise it’s common for those responses to be greatly intensified. They can also potentially lead to antenatal anxiety or depression.
Physical issues that can occur during pregnancy
There are a number of physical complications that can occur during pregnancy. These might cause a woman to feel ill, discomfort, pain or embarrassment. They might also pose a risk to a woman’s general health, and even potentially endanger lives.
- Hyperemesis: This is a severe form of nausea during pregnancy. Persistent vomiting means you can become dehydrated. You can also feel faint or dizzy. It normally requires treatment so it’s best to seek help early so you don’t have to put up with it any longer than necessary.
- Gestational diabetes: Despite their high blood sugar levels most expecting mums with gestational diabetes have a healthy pregnancy, normal delivery and a healthy baby. However concerns around the condition can cause anxiety.
- Thyroid issues: Thyroid issues (including Graves' Disease) during pregnancy are relatively rare, however they can cause risks to you and your baby’s health. Many of the symptoms are similar to those normally felt during pregnancy, and diagnosis can be difficult. However, there are medical tests to check for thyroid problems, so if you have any concerns, please seek medical advice.
- Placenta previa: this means the placenta has implanted at the bottom of the uterus, covering the cervix, meaning the baby can’t be born vaginally. Placenta previa affects around one in every 200 pregnancies. Symptoms include painless bleeding which, like any bleeding during pregnancy, should be reported to your doctor. Treatment aims to ease the symptoms and try to get the pregnancy to at least 36 weeks.
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If you suspect you are experiencing any of these conditions, or notice any other physical complications during pregnancy, please seek the advice of a trusted medical professional. And if you experience any negative emotional and mental health impacts from these complications, it’s also time to seek support. Especially if symptoms have lasted for more than two weeks.
If you are concerned for your own safety or that of someone in the family it’s vital that you seek immediate help by contacting either a GP or your nearest hospital’s emergency department. You can also contact PANDA for advice and support. If you believe that someone’s life is at immediate risk, then call 000.