7 Signs That Point At Likely Birth Complications

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Susan already knew there was something special about her last pregnancy. First of all, she didn’t know she was pregnant, until she went in for her three-monthly birth control shots.

For routine’s sake, they performed a pregnancy test, and it came out positive. The quizzical look on the faces of her doctor, the lab person and herself was priceless.  She asked that the test be done again. It didn’t change.

Susan was truly pregnant with her fourth child, seven years after she professed to have hung her childbearing boots. She had known about all her previous pregnancies before anyone else. She was so detailed, she could almost pinpoint, when conception happened but her last pregnancy snuck up on her. It was an absolute surprise.

It was as though the confirmation of her pregnancy opened the floodgates of symptoms, as she fell ill with such a bad case of morning sickness, she had to take time off work.  When she felt better, she was looking all washed out and gaunt. There was no hint of the pregnancy glow that had characterised her earlier pregnancies.

Her family watched over her with eagle eyes, wondering if it was just the pregnancy or more. She developed oedema early on in her pregnancy, and that raised concerns about her state of health. She barely had any salt in her food, yet her doctor screened her often for pre-eclampsia. Her blood pressure was closely monitored, she was urged to stay off her feet as much as possible, and she tried but not much difference was recorded.

She piled on the weight too, and the only happy news in what she termed a dreary situation was the fact that the baby seem to be having real fun inside her. He (yes, it was a boy) was growing great.

As her EDD came closer, she sometimes prayed for a natural birth, but as different symptoms kept showing their face, and with her blood pressure all over the place, she was more than ready for a c-section, her very first experience of it. It became a matter of life and death; either hers or her son’s. Her BP was high, he had his cord tied around his neck, saving both lives was paramount.

With God’s help, Susan and her baby boy, who is now two years old, are alive to tell the story.

While Susan didn’t experience most of what she did with her last pregnancy with her other pregnancies, there were definite signs that a birth complication was imminent. We will talk about some of those signs in this article today.

You will likely raise your eyes at some and just agree with others, off we go:

Age:

In 2000, first-time moms were, on average, 25 years old when they gave birth. In 2014, they were a little over 26.

Age has often played a role in the fertility of a woman, and it definitely plays a role in whether a pregnant mom experiences complications during childbirth or not.

And it applies to women on the two ends of the age spectrum.

Typically, the older a woman is, the more complications she will experience during labour. While this doesn’t mean every older woman will have complications, being older increases the risk greatly.

On the other hand, the younger a mom is, the higher the risk of birth complications she might experience.

It is however comforting to know that research over the years has not been truly conclusive about the ideal age for a successful pregnancy, and that is because every woman is different.

 

High Blood Pressure:

High blood pressure is a likely sign that the expectant mother will have birthing complications. Most doctors will check the blood pressure of pregnant mamas during visits.

All over the world, there are women who have high blood pressure and have no idea they do. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to preeclampsia that can cause damage to the liver, brain, and other organs, and can also lead to seizures that could be fatal. It is important that every pregnant woman have her blood pressure checked always.

 

Blood Group Incompatibility

Blood group incompatibility is a clear sign there will be birthing complications.

A mother’s immune system protects the developing child from harm during pregnancy. This protection helps ensure a successful delivery.

However, there are occasions when the expectant mother’s immune system views the developing child as a threat. Blood group incompatibility occurs when the baby’s blood has elements in it that seem foreign to the mom’s biological defence mechanisms.

If the mother’s immune system sees the growing child as an invasive specie, the immune system will attack the child. Obviously, this results in serious complications not only during the pregnancy but will cause problems during the delivery as well…but it can be managed.

 

Calf Pain

Pregnant women are at higher risk for blood clots than non-pregnant women, and calf pain, especially paired with swelling of the leg, can be a sign that there’s a blood clot present.

It may be muscle strain, or those cramps you get at night that are very common for women when they’re pregnant, but if it persists and there’s swelling associated with it, then it’s time to call the doctor.

Checking it out earlier can really save a woman from having a blood clot leave the leg and go into a lung, which is called pulmonary embolism, and which is very dangerous.

 

Multiple pregnancy

While many mothers are happy to have two children without having to go through being pregnant twice, there’s a price to pay.

Having multiples is considered high risk pregnancy, and that translates to a possible complicated birth.

If an expectant mother learns she is having twins, this is her first sign that she will likely experience some birthing complications. Carrying and delivering one child is stressful enough on the female body. Carrying and delivering two children could prove to be twice as strenuous for the mother during the delivery.

 

Overdue babies

 

When a woman is still carrying her child after 40 weeks, this is a sign that there may be complications during childbirth.

Delivery may be negatively impacted due to the baby being carried longer, which may result in an overly large infant.

If an expecting mom carries a baby past the term, it may be a tough delivery day. The baby may not have enough amniotic fluid left, or have other challenges.

Carrying the child for too long is generally a recipe for a complicated delivery. In most of these cases, the doctor will induce labour or arrange a c-section.

 

Premature Labour

A good sign that a woman will experience birthing complications is if she is going to go into labour early…early being before 36 weeks.

Going into labour before the baby is completely ready can cause some serious birthing complications for mom and baby.

 

It should be pointed out that all of these are not cast in stone, as we are all very different, and these differences play a role during pregnancy and the birthing process.

Godspeed mamas.

 

 

Join the conversation with any of our TTC and Pregnancy Groups here

Photo credits:

1. https://typeset-beta.imgix.net/

2. https://media.npr.org

3. http://images.agoramedia.com/

4. http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/

5. http://images.parents.mdpcdn.com

6. http://www.imaevarsity.com/

7. http://cdn.kidspot.com.au/

8. http://www-hollybaby-com.vimg.net

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