Finding out she’s pregnant is one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. From telling your loved ones the good news to excitedly gathering the necessary items for the arrival of the new baby, there’s a lot of things you must account for. However, it’s crucial that—even in your excitement—you don’t forget to take the time to properly care for yourself. After all, maintaining your health is the key to ensuring a safe, complication-free birth, as much as possible. As you continue through this journey, educate yourself on some of the common conditions that can develop during pregnancy and how to protect yourself from them.
Iron Deficiency Anemia
The most common form of anemia, iron deficiency anemia occurs when a person’s iron levels decrease to the point where their blood can no longer effectively carry oxygen. This causes them to experience excessive tiredness, weakness, shortness of breath, or dizziness. Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to developing this condition because they need to ingest enough iron to account for themselves as well as their growing babies.
High Blood Pressure
Pregnant women commonly develop high blood pressure. Since the body is working overtime to facilitate the health of two people instead of just one, the heart needs to work harder to transport blood to the appropriate areas. Unfortunately, high blood pressure could also be a symptom of additional underlying health concerns. As such, it’s recommended that the patient be monitored throughout the rest of their pregnancy should they demonstrate high blood pressure.
Another common condition that can develop during pregnancy is a form of skin hyperpigmentation called melasma. There are several different causes of hyperpigmentation, but melasma is the specific type brought about by extreme fluctuations in hormones—specifically in pregnant women. This condition causes melanin, or skin pigmentation, production to speed up and make certain areas of skin darker than others. As a result, women with melasma can develop dark brownish patches of skin along their chins, foreheads, and cheeks. The condition can drastically change your appearance, but the good news is that it most often goes away after you give birth and your hormones return to normal.
Nearly every woman who has been pregnant before has experienced some degree of morning sickness. However, when these symptoms persist or worsen well into the pregnancy, it can turn into a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum. This condition involves continuous nausea and vomiting—even to the extent that an individual could begin losing weight or frequently become dehydrated. Because of the other issues that could develop as a result of hyperemesis gravidarum, it’s important that anyone experiencing it is closely monitored through the remainder of their pregnancy.