Complications during pregnancy:
Toxemia:Toxemia is a general term given to an acute hypertensive disorder appearing after the 20th week of pregnancy or following delivery and accompanied by increased edema protein (albumin) in urine and in severe cases convulsions and coma, especially if treatment is delayed.Toxemia can lead to maternal and newborn infant death if it is not treated in time. Malnutrition is the main cause of toxemia which can be prevented by good parental care and good nutrition. If toxemia is found to be present in a pregnant woman, adequate quantities of proteins of high biological value should be included in her diet. Salt was previously restricted to help relieve toxemia but it is now recognized that salt is needed in pregnancy and that a normal amount should be supplied. Vitamins and minerals are the regulatory agents which are particularly needed to avoid malnutrition which precedes toxemia.
Anemia: Anemia is common during pregnancy. It can be classified as follows:
Iron Deficiency Anemia: This is the most common anemia in pregnancy and results due to insufficient iron in the diet. The requirement of iron by the pregnant women far exceeds her reserves and hence anemia may result if her diet is not enriched with iron-rich foods.
Hemorrhagic anemia: This results due to loss of blood and is more likely to occur after delivery due to loss of blood during delivery. During pregnancy however it may occur if there is an abortion or ruptured tubal pregnancy. Most patients receive blood transfusion but iron therapy in addition is indicated to support the formation of hemoglobin needed for adequate blood replacement.
Megaloblastic anemia: In this condition large, immature red blood cells containing little or no hemoglobin are formed and this malformation in red cells is the result of folic acid deficiency. Folic acid requirement is greatly increased in pregnancy and deficiency is manifested in nausea, vomiting and anorexia. As anemia progresses, loss of appetite is even more, aggravating nutritional deficiency. Most morning sickness symptoms characteristic of pregnancy could be due to deficiency of folic acid and pyridoxine.
Nausea and Vomiting: This is normally called morning sickness. This is usually a mild complaint limited to early pregnancy. It occurs more often after rising rather than in the later in the day; hence the term morning sickness. He reasons are physiological and also psychological due to the tensions and anxieties concerning pregnancy itself. Simple treatment usually improves the person?s tolerance towards food. Dry biscuits eaten before rising from the bed decrease nausea. Small meals with liquids taken in between meals rather than with the meals give better results. If excessive, persistent and prolonged vomiting is seen, then the doctor may hospitalize the patient and feed her intravenously to prevent complications and dehydration.
NEURAL TUBE DEFECT:
The Neural Tube: The neural tube becomes the brain and spinal cord. Women need to get enough folic acid before they become pregnant and during the first trimester of pregnancy so that the neural tube can develop properly.
Neural Tube Defect: NTDs are birth defects that occur when the neural tube does not form correctly. Neural tube defects usually occur during the first month of pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant. You must take folic acid BEFORE you become pregnant in order to reduce your risk of having a baby with an NTD.
Some factors which increase risk for NTDs are:Race/ethnicity/geographical location: NTDs are more common among women of certain Hispanic subpopulations, and among population groups in Ireland, China, and the United Kingdom. Use of anti-seizure medications.Maternal insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.Maternal obesity.Maternal hyperthermia (i.e., exposure to high temperatures early in pregnancy, such as hot tub use or high fever).Previous NTD-affected pregnancy.
Diabetes in pregnancy: Diabetes is a disorder in which the levels of sugar in the blood are too high. This occurs because the body doesn?t produce enough insulin or can?t use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that lets the body turn blood sugar into energy or store it as fat. In untreated diabetes, high blood sugar levels can damage organs, including blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys. Some people with diabetes need daily insulin injections to prevent these complications.
Gestational diabetes is one of the most common pregnancy complications. It usually develops during the second half of pregnancy, when hormones or other factors interfere with the body?s ability to use its insulin. Most women with gestational diabetes have no symptoms. Blood sugar levels generally return to normal after delivery.Women at increased risk of gestational diabetes include those who are over age 30; are obese; have a family history of diabetes; or have had a very large (over 9? pounds) baby or a stillborn a general rule, a pregnant woman with diabetes (gestational or preexisting) who is of average weight should consume about 2,000 to 2,200 calories a day. This should help her gain the recommended 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. Daily calories are usually divided among three meals and about three snacks, including one at bedtime. The dietitian will most likely recommend a diet that includes: 10 to 20 percent of calories from protein (meat, poultry, fish, legumes); about 30 percent from fats (with less than 10 percent from saturated fats); and the remainder from mainly complex carbohydrates (whole-grain bread, cereal, pasta, rice, fruits and vegetables). Sweets should be avoided.