We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Most Common Pregnancy Complications?

By Lindsay Kahl
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Pregnancy often is a joyous time for the expectant mother, but it also can be a time of worry or concern about potential problems. Though most women go through pregnancy and birth with few or no complications, there are numerous possible issues. Even previously healthy women might experience the most common pregnancy complications, including health conditions such as high blood pressure or gestational diabetes, abnormal bleeding, placental complications or preterm labor.

Pregnancy-induced hypertension occurs when a pregnant woman develops high blood pressure. Additional symptoms might include fluid retention, nausea, weight gain, headaches, blurred vision, pain and protein in the urine, depending on the severity and classification of the hypertension. Most women with this complication deliver a healthy baby, but it can lead to more severe problems in some cases. There is no cure, but a doctor might recommend medication or bed rest to lower risk.

Another of the common pregnancy complications that directly affects a mother’s health is gestational diabetes. In this case, a woman who had no history of diabetes or prediabetes develops the condition during pregnancy. She might be able to manage symptoms with a balanced diet and exercise, or she might need to take insulin. Gestational diabetes can increase the risk of delivery problems or health issues for the baby.

One of the most mysterious pregnancy complications is bleeding, because it could indicate severe problems or no problem at all. Some light bleeding during the first trimester is not uncommon. Later in the pregnancy, bleeding is more likely to indicate a serious problem. A pregnant woman should track the amount and frequency of any bleeding and discuss it with her doctor.

Some placental pregnancy complications include placenta abruption or placenta previa. Placenta abruption is when the placenta separates from the uterine wall, which can lead to oxygen deprivation for the baby and blood loss for the mother. The major symptom of this complication is heavy bleeding. With placenta previa, the placenta is implanted low in the uterus, often blocking the cervix. Women with placenta previa almost certainly will have to have a cesarean section.

Another common pregnancy complication is preterm labor. A typical pregnancy lasts 38 to 42 weeks. Preterm labor is when a woman goes into labor before 37 weeks. Babies who are born preterm are at greater risk for health problems or even death. In some cases, preterm labor can be stopped with medication.

Not all pregnancy complications can be prevented. Expectant mothers can reduce the risk of complications by having early and regular prenatal checkups and following medical providers’ suggestions. A woman also should maintain a healthy diet, take prenatal vitamins and avoid drugs, cigarettes and alcohol.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.