Pregnancy and childbirth are natural, right? But unfortunately also complications. Pregnancy does not always go smoothly and women can die at what is considered to be one of the most beautiful days of their lives.
Some countries are improving maternal care and reducing complications, but hundreds of women still die every day around the world. Most maternal deaths occur in developing countries, but some developed nations such as the United States are seeing rising numbers. Each year in the United States, around 700 women die from pregnancy-related complications. Experts say two-thirds of these deaths are preventable. A new program launched by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HearHer, aims to reduce these deaths.
Most common pregnancy-related complications
Some women develop complications from medical conditions that existed before they were pregnant. For example, a woman with high blood pressure or diabetes must be closely monitored by her obstetrician and specialist before pregnancy to make sure she stays safe. But other women develop new problems during pregnancy.
The most common complications, which according to the World Health Organization account for nearly 75% of all maternal deaths, are:
- Preeclampsia and eclampsia (extremely high blood pressure)
- Complications from the delivery itself
The March of Dimes says the leading causes of maternal death in the United States are heart disease and stroke. These rates are up to three times higher in women who are Black, Native American, or Alaskan than their white counterparts.
At the start of the HearHer campaign, CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, MD, said in a press release: “Pregnancy and childbirth shouldn't put a mother's life at risk, but in far too many cases women die from complications. This landmark campaign is designed to disrupt the all too familiar pattern of preventable maternal mortality and encourage everyone in a woman's life to be vigilant and supportive of her health at this important time. "
The HearHer website is open to the public and pregnant women and their partners are encouraged to visit to learn more about maternal health. The objectives of the campaign are:
- Teach women to recognize warning signs of complications
- Help women feel comfortable speaking with their health care provider about their concerns
- Encourage the women's partners or support systems to talk about the problems they may be facing
- Provide women, their support systems, and their health care providers with the tools to have these conversations
Signs To Look For During Pregnancy
Pregnant women go through many physical changes that will support their growing baby and prepare their bodies for delivery. It can sometimes be difficult to tell which changes are normal and which may be signs of complications. If you are pregnant and experience any of the signs or symptoms listed here, contact your doctor immediately or contact the nearest emergency department:
- Severe headache that does not go away or gets worse, especially if your eyesight changes or you feel dizzy. Some women have described the headache as the worst of their lives.
- Faint. If you don't pass out but are dizzy, this is also a sign to speak to your doctor.
- Visual disturbances, such as B. seeing spots or flashes of light or blind spots, blurring or double vision.
- A fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius or more
- Swelling in the hands or face. Normal swelling can occur during pregnancy. However, if you find that the swelling prevents you from bending your fingers, or your face is so swollen that your eyes are puffy or your lips are puffy, seek emergency help immediately.
Take that away
Aside from the common ailments associated with pregnancy, most of them are pretty straightforward. However, this is not the case with all women. Pregnant women should have open and frank discussions with their doctor or midwife about what can happen. If necessary, discuss previous health problems. Review urgent maternal warning signs that may appear during or after pregnancy. What should you watch out for? What is dangerous? You know your body best, and if you feel like something is wrong, speak until you have the answers that please you.