What Can Happen During Pregnancy

Body Changes During Pregnancy

Stages of pregnancy how your baby develops

Some of these changes are subtle, an increased respiratory rate for example, while other more obvious changes include a baby bump. All these changes occur to prepare for the development of your baby and to give birth during labor. Here are some systems, organs, and parts that undergo changes during pregnancy.

What Are The Most Common Pregnancy And Labor Complications

The normal symptoms of pregnancy and the symptoms of complications are sometimes hard to distinguish. Although many problems are mild and dont progress, you should always contact your doctor if you have any concerns during your pregnancy. Most pregnancy complications are manageable with prompt treatment.

These are the most common complications women experience during pregnancy:

High blood pressure

High blood pressure occurs when the arteries that carry blood from the heart to the organs and the placenta are narrowed. High blood pressure is associated with a higher risk of many other complications, like preeclampsia. It puts you at a higher risk of having a baby well before your due date. This is called preterm delivery. It also increases your risk of having a baby whos small. Its important to control your blood pressure with medications during pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs when your body cannot process sugars effectively. This leads to higher-than-normal levels of sugar in the bloodstream. Some women will need to modify their meal plans to help control blood sugar levels. Others may need to take insulin to keep their blood sugar levels in control. Gestational diabetes usually resolves after pregnancy.


Preterm labor


A loss of pregnancy after week 20 of pregnancy is called a stillbirth. Many times the cause for this isnt known. Issues that have been found to cause stillbirths include:



Always Consult Your Primary Care Provider

If you have any medical concerns, consult your prenatal care provider and ask questions. Dr. Folch-Hayek advises, I encourage patients to ask more questions. That way, it is easier for me to reassure someone than miss something important and not be able to go back and figure out where it started.

You may think that doctors are only telling you what you want to hear to get rid of you. Still, doctors like Dr. Folch-Hayek underwent years of rigorous training and residency to understand pregnancy as a wholethe physiological processes, patterns, behaviors and complications. And when something is out of the norm, they perform exhaustive tests to ensure a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery.

Read Also: Can Pregnant Women Get Botox

How Is Cancer During Pregnancy Diagnosed

It can be more difficult to detect cancer when a person is pregnant. This is because some cancer symptoms, such as bloating, headaches, or rectal bleeding, are also common during pregnancy in general. Breasts typically get larger and change texture during pregnancy and these breast changes may appear normal. This means that cancer-related changes in pregnant women may be noticed later and therefore be diagnosed later than women who are not pregnant.

Pregnancy can also sometimes reveal cancer. For example, a Pap test done as a part of standard pregnancy care can find cervical cancer, or an ultrasound done during pregnancy can find ovarian cancer.

Some of the tests doctors use to find cancer are safe during pregnancy and for the fetus. Others could possibly be harmful. Always talk with your health care team about each recommended test and let the testing staff know you are pregnant. Common tests used in cancer diagnosis include:

X-ray. Research shows that the level of radiation in diagnostic x-rays is too low to harm the fetus. When possible, a shield is used to cover the abdomen during x-rays.

Other tests. Magnetic resonance imaging , ultrasound, and a biopsy are usually safe during pregnancy.

No Hair Growth On Your Legs And Arms:

14 Major Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy

While most people tend to experience thicker hair on their head, many will notice thinning or slowed growth of body hair this is because of the drastic changes in the hormonal environment during pregnancy, due to increased estrogen, progesterone, and androgens. These can have differential effects on different parts of the body.

Also Check: How To Stop Hair Loss During Pregnancy

Babys Growth In The First Trimester

During the first 13 weeks, your baby changes from a fertilized egg into a fully-formed fetus. All the major organs and systems are taking shape. That means your baby could be harmed if you use street drugs, have an illness, or get exposed to radiation. Hereâs whatâs happening:

  • The fertilized egg becomes a cluster of rapidly dividing cells that implants in your uterus. The placenta, umbilical cord and amniotic sac all start to grow.

  • Your babyâs nervous system changes from an open neural tube to a brain and spinal cord. Nerves and muscles start working together. Your baby can move on its own, but itâs too soon for you to feel it.

  • The heart takes shape and begins to beat. You can hear it on ultrasound as early as week 6. It beats 120 to 160 times per minute. Red blood cells are forming.

  • Your baby develops a digestive system, including intestines and kidneys.

  • They have lungs and other major organs, but theyâre not fully developed.

  • A soft skeleton is starting to grow.

  • Your baby starts to look like a baby, with arms, legs, fingers, and toes. Their face gets eyes, ears, a nose, and mouth. A tongue and tooth buds grow. Eyelids cover your babyâs eyes, and by the end of the trimester, they even have fingernails.

  • Genitals start to grow, but itâs too early to tell by ultrasound whether youâre having a girl or a boy.

Top 5 Conditions Of Abnormal Pregnancy

One of the greatest and most profound periods in a womans life is when she has the opportunity to care for and nurture a tiny child in her womb. If, however, the mother finds she is not totally healthy, the effects of any disease or abnormality can have serious consequences for the baby she is carrying, and at times, these can affect both mother and baby simultaneously. Therefore, if abnormalities occur during pregnancy, that is, if a mother experiences any abnormal symptoms during pregnancy, she should not be overly confident or take anything for granted. Instead, the best course of action is to immediately consult a doctor who can provide an accurate diagnosis and give professional advice. And what are the types of symptoms that could be classified as indicative of an abnormal pregnancy? Lets find out.

Read Also: Are Prenatal Vitamins Good For Trying To Get Pregnant

How Your Body Changes During Pregnancy

It is no secret that your body changes during pregnancy. How many things change during pregnancy that you dont see? Well, several things do. To say our bodies are a miraculous thing is an understatement.Pregnancy is a perfect example of our bodys amazing potential. A few of these changes you can see, while many others you may not even notice.

The ones you may not notice happening are the ones that cause many common symptoms of pregnancy. Things like acid reflux, needing to empty your bladder or feeling short of breath during pregnancy are caused by the changes happening in the respiratory, urinary and gastrointestinal systems. Lets look at all the hidden and obvious body changes during pregnancy.

Miscarriage Or Fetal Loss

Your Organs During Pregnancy

A miscarriage is pregnancy loss that happens up to 20 weeks of gestation. Most miscarriages happen before 12 weeks. Miscarriages happen in about 15% of all pregnancies and are usually due to genetic or chromosomal abnormalities.

Miscarriages are usually preceded by spotting and intense cramping. To confirm a miscarriage, an ultrasound and blood tests may be done. The fetus and contents of the uterus are often naturally expelled. If this does not happen, a procedure called a dilation and curettage may be necessary. This procedure uses special instruments to remove the abnormal pregnancy.

Fetal loss in the second trimester may happen if the cervix is weak and opens too early. This is called incompetent cervix. In some cases of incompetent cervix, a healthcare provider can help prevent pregnancy loss by stitching the cervix closed until delivery.

Read Also: When Can I Find Out I M Pregnant Calculator

Frequently Asked Questionsexpand All

  • What is the estimated due date?

    The day your baby is due is called the estimated due date . Only about 1 in 20 women give birth on their due dates. Still, the EDD is useful for a number of reasons. It determines your fetus’s gestational age throughout pregnancy so that the fetus’s growth can be tracked. It also provides a timeline for certain tests that you will have throughout your pregnancy.

  • How is my estimated due date calculated?

    Your EDD is calculated from the first day of your LMP. But when the date of the LMP is uncertain, an ultrasound exam may be done during the first trimester to estimate the due date. If you have had in vitro fertilization , the EDD is set by the age of the embryo and the date that the embryo is transferred to the uterus.

  • What happens during weeks 1 to 8 of pregnancy?
  • The brain and spine begin to form.

  • Cardiac tissue starts to develop.

  • Muscles of the eyes, nose, and mouth form.

  • Webbed fingers and toes poke out from developing hands and feet.

  • The lungs start to form the tubes that will carry air in and out after birth.

  • The inner ear begins to develop.

  • What happens during weeks 9 to 12 of pregnancy?
  • Cartilage for the limbs, hands, and feet start to form but wont harden into bones for a few weeks.

  • Eyelids form but remain closed.

  • Genitals begin to form.

  • What happens during weeks 13 to 16 of pregnancy?
  • Bones harden, especially the long bones.

  • Skin is thin and see-through but will start to thicken soon.

  • Neck is defined and lower limbs are developed.

  • Blood Volume And Circulation

    Your blood volume will increase significantly to help support your pregnancy and your baby. This means your need for iron rich food will increase to prevent pregnancy anemia. This increased blood volume also means that your kidneys and urinary system will have to work extra hard to process increased waste.

    The increased blood volume also can cause your veins to enlarge in size, increasing your propensity to experience varicose veins as well as hemorrhoids.

    Changes in your circulatory system and blood pressure can also make you more susceptible to dizziness and fainting during pregnancy. This may also be due to your expanding uterus putting pressure on your blood vessels as well as appetite and metabolism changes.

    Make sure to stay off your feet when needed, eat and drink frequently, stay out of the heat when possible, get up slowly from sitting, and wear loose-fitting clothes.

    Recommended Reading: How To Boost My Immune System While Pregnant

    Who Is At Risk For Complications

    If you already have a chronic condition or illness, talk to your doctor about how to minimize any complications before you get pregnant. If youre already pregnant, your doctor may need to monitor your pregnancy.

    Some examples of common diseases and conditions that can cause complications during your pregnancy include:

    • sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV
    • kidney problems

    Other factors that may increase your risk for complications include:

    • being pregnant at age 35 or older
    • being pregnant at a young age
    • having an eating disorder like anorexia
    • smoking cigarettes
    • having a history of pregnancy loss or preterm birth
    • carrying multiples, such as twins or triplets

    What Are The Potential Health Effects Of Using Marijuana During My Pregnancy

    Spotting vs. Period: Is It Aunt Flo or Early Pregnancy Bleeding ...

    Although more research is needed to better understand how marijuana may affect you and your baby during pregnancy, it is recommended that pregnant persons do not use marijuana.3,4

    • Some research shows that using marijuana while you are pregnant can cause health problems in newborns, including lower birth weight and abnormal neurological development.1
    • Breathing marijuana smoke can also be bad for you and your baby. Secondhand marijuana smoke contains many of the same toxic and cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco smoke.5 THC, the psychoactive or mind-altering compound in marijuana, may also be passed to infants through secondhand smoke.6

    You May Like: Will Birth Control Prevent Pregnancy

    Why Do I Feel So Tired

    Feeling very tired is another common symptom of early pregnancy. Your body is working hard to adjust to all the new physical changes. This can cause extreme fatigue. You may need to sleep longer than usual at night. If possible, you can take short naps during the day. Your energy will most likely return in the second trimester of pregnancy.

    Severe Maternal Morbidity In The United States

    Maternal morbidity includes physical and psychologic conditions that result from or are aggravated by pregnancy and have an adverse effect on a womans health. The most severe complications of pregnancy, generally referred to as severe maternal morbidity , affect more than 50,000 women in the United States every year. Based on recent trends, this burden has been steadily increasing.

    Rises in SMM are likely driven by a combination of factors, including increases in maternal age, pre-pregnancy obesity, pre-existing chronic medical conditions, and cesarean delivery. The consequences of the increasing SMM prevalence are wide-ranging and include higher health service use, higher direct medical costs, extended hospitalization stays, and long-term rehabilitation. The review of SMM cases provides an opportunity to identify points of intervention for quality improvements in maternal care. Tracking SMM will help monitor the effectiveness of such interventions.

    You May Like: What Causes Constipation During Pregnancy

    What If I Still Can’t Sleep

    Of course, there will be times when you just can’t sleep. Instead of tossing and turning, worrying that you’re not asleep, and counting the hours until your alarm clock will go off, get up and do something calm: read a book, listen to music, or look at a magazine. Eventually, you’ll probably feel tired enough to get back to sleep.

    And if possible, take short naps during the day. Naps can help you have energy to get through the day and give your body the rest it needs.

    Increases In Postpartum Depression

    What to expect in your First Trimester of pregnancy | Pregnancy Week-by-Week

    In 2018, nearly one in 10 women who delivered a baby was diagnosed with postpartum depression . That number is up almost 30% from 2014. Postpartum depression diagnoses were most prevalent in women aged 18-24. Some of this increase could be attributed to a greater awareness of the condition and more screening .


    Don’t Miss: How To Quit Smoking During Pregnancy

    Why Does Pregnancy Sometimes Make Sleeping Difficult

    When you’re pregnant, it can be hard to get a good nights sleep. As you get bigger, it gets tougher to find a comfortable sleeping position. You may need to pee in the middle of the night. And heartburn can wake you up.

    Some women have leg cramps and backaches, especially as they begin carrying more and more weight. Many pregnant women report that their dreams become more vivid than usual, and some even have nightmares.

    Stress can interfere with sleep too. Maybe you’re worried about your baby’s health, anxious about your abilities as a parent, or feeling nervous about the delivery itself. All these feelings are normal, but they might keep you up at night.

    The Quality Of Maternal Healthcare Can Mitigate Risk And Cost

    Blue Distinction Centers and Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care are healthcare facilities and providers recognized for their demonstrated expertise delivering high quality, cost-effective care. In 2018, BDC/BDC+ facilities across the country cared for more than 40% of Blue Cross and Blue Shield commercially insured women giving birth. On average, BDC/BDC+ facilities cared for higher risk women while still maintaining comparable delivery outcomes to the national average and BDC+ facilities had significantly lower costs.9,10


    Don’t Miss: What Is The Most Sensitive Pregnancy Test

    What Is The First Trimester Of Pregnancy

    The first trimester is the earliest phase of pregnancy. It starts on the first day of your last period — before youâre even actually pregnant — and lasts until the end of the 13th week. Itâs a time of great anticipation and of rapid changes for both you and your baby. Knowing what to expect will help you get ready for the months ahead.

    When Alcohol Is Dangerous

    Prenatal Development â Parenting and Family Diversity Issues

    There is no safe time for alcohol use during pregnancy. Alcohol can cause problems for the baby throughout pregnancy, including before a woman knows she is pregnant. Alcohol use in the first three months of pregnancy can cause the baby to have abnormal facial features. Growth and central nervous system problems can occur from alcohol use anytime during pregnancy. The babys brain is developing throughout pregnancy and can be affected by exposure to alcohol at any time.

    It is never too late to stop alcohol use during pregnancy. Stopping alcohol use will improve the babys health and well-being.

    Don’t Miss: What To Do When You Start Trying To Get Pregnant

    Does Pregnancy Affect Cancer Treatment

    Pregnancy itself does not seem to affect how well cancer treatment works. Finding cancer in a later stage or not starting treatment right away can affect the results of the cancer treatment. Talk with your health care team about how different factors may affect your risk from the cancer and how you recover from treatment.

    No Fetal Movement Or Reduced Fetal Movement At More Than 20 Weeks Gestation

    An unborn baby grows in the womb more and more every day until there is no longer much space for it to flip itself or turn over. As a result, it does eventually move more slowly and, at times, is perhaps still or quiet as it is sleeping comfortably. Some mothers can get used to this feeling and thus may wrongly assume their baby is asleep, when in reality the babys lack of movement may also be indicative of an abnormality. If therefore, these symptoms appear, it is safest to first assume that there is the possibility that something is wrong. The best course of action is to consult a doctor and have health and pregnancy checkups on a regular basis. Doing so is the best way to help prevent any possible health problems for the new, soon-to-be-born baby, and also the mother-to-be.

    Don’t Miss: What Is Genetic Testing While Pregnant

    Related Posts

    Recent Stories