Special Care Pregnancies

Nearly all pregnancies are normal and straightforward, but there may be circumstances that make your doctor think there is a greater risk of complications, and so you need to be monitored closely during this time. This could be because you have a general medical condition, or perhaps you are expecting twins. Sometimes symptoms develop that warn the doctor that one needs special care.

Anemia: Many women are slightly anemic before pregnancy, and this is usually due to an iron deficiency. It’s important to correct this, in order to meet with the increased demands of pregnancy, and bleeding during labour.

Diabetes: It must be carefully controlled during pregnancy and your blood sugar level constantly monitored. If this is done, there’s no reason why the pregnancy shouldn’t be straightforward.

Incompetent Cervix: In a normal pregnancy, the cervix stays closed until the beginning of labour. But if miscarriages frequently occur after the third month of pregnancy, it could be because the neck of the womb is weak, and so it opens up, expelling the baby.

Pre- Eclampsia: This is one of the most common problems in late pregnancy. Warning signs are: raised blood pressure above 140/90; excessive weight gain; swollen ankles, feets and hands; and traces of protein in the urine. If blood pressure rises untreated, it could progress to the extremely dangerous condition of eclampsia where fits may occur.

Rhesus Negative Mother: Your blood is tested at the first clinic visit to see if it is rhesus positive or  rhesus negative. About 15% of mothers are rhesus negative, and if you are one of these, you will only have difficulty in pregnancy if you give birth to a rhesus positive baby. Your blood group will be incompatible.

Small for Dates Baby: A baby who doesn’t grow properly inside the womb and is small at birth is called “small for dates” baby. This may happen because the expectant mother smokes or eats poor, or because the placenta doesn’t work properly.

Twins: There is greater likelihood that you may go into labour early and may face complications such as anemia, pre-eclampsia, and of the babies lying abnormally in the womb.

Vaginal Bleeding: If you notice bleeding from your vagina at any time in pregnancy, call your doctor without delay and lie down in bed. Before 28 weeks it can be a sign of impending miscarriage. After this time it may mean that the placenta is bleeding.