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Countdown to Baby

Common Complications during the Third Trimester of Pregnancy

  12 Aug 2012

Introduction to the most common complications of the 3rd trimester

Common complications during the third trimester of pregnancy Care and caution must be sought in the last trimester of pregnancy since most serious complications are potentially susceptible during this period. The complications may arise in consequence to preexisting medical conditions or from obstetric problems. These complications pose a great threat to the health of women in their third trimester of pregnancy and to the fetus as well. This phase is important in terms of baby’s weight gain.

The third trimester of pregnancy could be troublesome but this phase calls for intense care in order to ensure health and safety of both the mother and the baby. Since the body is preparing itself for the labour so in most instances light headaches and nausea come back but it is unusual for the expecting mother to have third trimester bleeding and migraines during the pregnancy. Intense nauseated feeling, vomiting and other abnormal signs like double vision must be reported to the doctor immediately.

The Placenta Previa

Although the growth of implacental across the uterine opening is a susceptible complication in the earlier days of pregnancy, but this could cause much problem if experienced in the third trimester of pregnancy. It is usually marked with pain free but heavy bleeding which can pose a great threat to the fetus. Under this condition, complete bed rest is suggested to prevent serious complications to the life of mother and baby. Side-lying on bed for following seventy two hours is usually prescribed. Ultrasonography is considered most appropriate technique to detect placenta previa. It can easily detect both the location and level of impediment. As soon as bleeding is experienced in the last trimester it is advisable to consult doctor to minimize the amount of blood loss. More the blood is lost, more are the nutrients washed away from your body. It is advisable to avoid Internal Examination to prevent any serious hemorrhaging.

The abruptio placenta

The early separation of normally implanted placenta from the uterus leads to a complication known as abruption placenta. Both the placenta previa and abruption placenta are responsible for most of the bleeding cases in the third trimester of pregnancy. Unlike the symptoms of placenta previa, the abruption placenta follows a painful vaginal bleeding. The pain spreads from the abdomen down towards the vagina. It may lead to insufficient supply of oxygen to the fetus and thus leading to premature delivery. In this condition, side-lying position is suggested along with oxygen administration to prevent premature birth. Like placenta previa, any internal and rectal examination is ill-advised because it can further complicate the situation.

The abruption placenta is more common among women suffering from migraines during pregnancy. Other causes may include high in-take of alcohol, a short umbilical cord and a direct trauma.

Premature Labour

Premature labour is another common pregnancy third trimester complication. In this condition, the labour starts after 20 weeks and before 37 weeks of gestation. Premature labour leads to 75 percent of the softening of cervix. The premature labour often occurs without any symptom, however, there are some pointers mostly associated with it like increased pressure in the lower abdomen, menstrual like cramps and pinkish vaginal discharge. Contractions are also experienced which are up to ten minutes apart. These contractions are responsible for the cervical changes in this condition.

Who is susceptible to premature labour complication?

The risk factors of uterine contractions which lead to cervical changes include women who are either younger than 17 or older than 35 years of age. Any case of previous preterm labour also increases the chance of uterine contractions. Nutritional deficiency, emotional and physical stress and low socio economic class are other risk factors. Uterine contractions are likely to occur in case of expecting multiple babies.

Premature babies have poor survival rates so focus must be laid on preventing preterm birth. Complete bed rest and relaxation is suggested to avoid the early contractions.

Hypertension induced by pregnancy

The hypertension induced during third trimester of pregnancy could be caused by abnormalities related with placenta. This may lead to growth inhibition of the fetus and premature birth. If not treated early, the conditions could lead to severe complications like liver failure and seizures.

It is blood pressure related and its symptom is migraines during pregnancy. Headaches and pregnancy must not go together because this suggests high blood pressure conditions. The Pregnancy induced hypertension is categorized into three types.

  • Mild preeclampsia;
  • Severe preeclampsia;
  • Eclampsia.

The third trimester nausea is considered a potential complication. Nausea in the early trimester of pregnancy is normal but if it comes back in the third trimester coupled with headaches and pregnancy; this is suggestive of hypertension which could lead to third trimester abortion.

Conditions like headaches and pregnancy, nausea in late pregnancy along with morning sickness in third trimester must be reported to the doctor.
Rating: 4.74/5 (709 Votes)

Site Visitor Susan susanboil@hushmail.com

2012-08-18 08:37:27
I am facing this problems.My doctor suggests me to take enough rest. But i am full time job holder. My office did not allow me to leave the office. So I suffering a lot. Can you give some information what can i do right now?

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