3 Dangerous Health Conditions that Can Develop During Pregnancy

doctor checking pregnant woman's vital signs

Pregnancy produces dramatic changes in the chemical and physical makeup of a woman’s body. While many of these changes are celebrated signs of pregnancy necessary for the development of a happy, healthy baby, some changes can be dangerous for the mother and child. Early and ongoing medical care throughout the pregnancy and beyond can help identify and treat these potentially dangerous health conditions.


Preeclampsia affects about 1 in 20 pregnancies. It often develops in the late-second or early-third trimester, but can occur earlier. Pregnant mothers with preeclampsia develop high blood pressure along with swelling in their feet, legs and hands. They will also output high levels of protein in their urine. Preeclampsia tends to get worse rather than better, and delivering the baby is the only cure. Depending on how severe the preeclampsia is and how far along you are in your pregnancy, you may be admitted to the hospital for extended bed rest, or your doctor may choose to induce labor.

Iron Deficiency Anemia

During pregnancy, the body must produce twice as many red blood cells to supply oxygen throughout your body and to your baby. Those blood cells are made up, in part, of iron. If your iron levels are too low, you develop anemia. Anemia can be difficult to detect without medical tests. Often, tiredness may be the only symptom, and pregnant mothers may dismiss this as just part of the pregnancy process. Severe, ongoing or long-undiagnosed iron deficiency anemia may require iron supplement treatments or possibly even a blood transfusion.

Gestational Diabetes

Research by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control revealed that up to 1 in 11 women experience gestational diabetes, a condition in which women develop high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Mothers and babies both face potential health impacts from gestational diabetes. Mothers may develop hypoglycemia shortly after giving birth. Babies may add unnecessary fat, which can lead obesity, respiratory distress syndrome and increased lifetime risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Doctors generally test for gestational diabetes 24 weeks into pregnancy, or earlier if they believe the mother is at additional risk. If detected, treatment often includes regular blood sugar and urine tests along with controlled diet and exercise.

If you believe you may be pregnant, get a free medical pregnancy test today by calling Sira at 352-377-4947. Knowing you’re pregnant as early as possible allows you to get great prenatal care, limit complications and promote a healthy pregnancy for you and your baby. Contact Sira in Gainesville today.

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