When it comes to pregnancy, new mothers can never be too careful. Indeed, pregnancy is a delicate time for both mother and child, and it’s wise to take any and all precautions necessary to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible. Unfortunately, certain health risks facing expecting moms often go overlooked. Ignoring any of the following five issues can cause serious repercussions for both you and your baby. Make sure to check out these risks now so you can address them if need be later:
Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP)
ICP may not affect many women (around 1-2 per every 1,000 pregnancies), but it’s a frightening condition all the same. The most common symptom associated with ICP is an itch that develops around the hands and feet. While that might seem innocuous, ICP is a liver disease that can lead to premature labor or stillbirth. Some groups of women are more susceptible to developing ICP (such as those who participate in in vitro fertilization), but there are relatively few ways to determine if you’re at risk before your pregnancy.
Strangely enough, gum disease has been linked to the development of periodontal disease –– which in turn can cause premature births to occur. What’s more, pregnant women with periodontal disease have a much greater risk of losing teeth as a result.
All women should monitor their blood pressure before they attempt to become pregnant. That’s because high-blood pressure can affect a pregnancy in a myriad of ways, and in some instances lead to preeclampsia. In order to protect yourself and your little one, pregnant women with high-blood pressure should stick to a healthy diet, talk to their doctor about high-blood pressure medication, and avoid dangerous or stressful activities.
Does your doctor test for STDs? How long does it take for a STD test to come back? Do you need to get tested while you’re pregnant? STDs are troublesome in large part because few people understand them well, and many women don’t know the answers to these questions. The truth is, all sexually active individuals can contract STDs, and STDs are often asymptomatic –– meaning you could have a potentially harmful STD and not know about it. The best way to protect yourself from the dangers of STDs is to get educated, tested, and treated.
Pregnant women have so much to deal with it’s easy to see why postpartum depression is often misdiagnosed as “the baby blues.” Nevertheless, family members and friends should monitor a new mother’s moods and look for ways to treat her following a pregnancy. If depression symptoms worsen or last for a significant amount of time, however, consult a professional for assistance.