The third trimester of pregnancy can be a tricky one as it poses the maximum health risks for the mother and the foetus. If your pregnancy has been smooth, it is hardly the time to be lax about your health.
Adequate rest and good prenatal care can ensure a smooth home run and a safe pregnancy right up until your d-day. Here are some of the potential problems and complications associated with the third trimester.
Complications In The Third Trimester Of Pregnancy
Preterm labour is a very serious threat to the life of a foetus. This happens when the woman goes into labour before 37 weeks of gestation. This period is tricky as the baby’s lungs have not yet matured fully to be able to achieve normal breathing function. The baby can also die at birth.
If pre term labour is imminent or suspected, the doctors give tocolytic drugs to help stop labour. Some steroid medications are also given to mature the baby’s lungs especially if the woman is a hypertensive and the blood pressure of the mother has shot up. Very premature infants find it difficult to survive outside the womb and even if they do, they may have long-term health risks.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a very serious third trimester pregnancy complication. This can occur due to abnormalities in the placenta or also because the mother is a chronic hypertensive, thus complicating the case.
Hypertension can lead to a condition called as preeclampsia where the baby is at risk for growth retardation, preterm birth and the mother can go into seizures or have liver failure. Blood pressure needs to be constantly monitored and a high blood pressure during the third trimester necessitates early delivery via a c-section.
Placenta previa is a condition where the placenta comes down and covers the mouth of the uterus. The condition may be diagnosed in the second trimester and generally resolves on its own by the end of the second trimester. If it does not, it can cause heavy bleeding, cramping, pain and haemorrhage. Bed rest may be advised in cases of severe previa.
The Foetal Position
The foetal position may drastically affect the ease with which the mother delivers. Babies who do not turn by the end of the 37th week or are found to be in breech position make labour and delivery complicated. Even if they can be turned, there is a high chance of a forceps or vacuum delivery, which can harm the foetus in several ways.
Gestational diabetes is pregnancy-induced diabetes when the woman develops alarming levels of blood sugar in the body. Gestational diabetes can severely impact foetal health if left uncontrolled. It is also known to cause foetal mental retardation.
It requires regular monitoring and control through strict exercise and diet. Most doctors do not take a chance and plan to carry out a c-section by the end of the 38th week if the woman is suffering from gestational diabetes. This offers a good prognosis for the mother and the child.