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Pregnancy - Health Concerns

Some women have health problems or concerns before they get pregnant. For other women, problems may come up during pregnancy. Your doctor or midwife will work with you to prevent or manage these problems to help you have a healthy pregnancy.

If you have a health problem or concern, you may have a high-risk pregnancy. This means that your doctor or midwife needs to follow you closely. It doesn't mean that something will go wrong during your pregnancy.

Pregnancy when you have health problems

  • Depression during pregnancy requires treatment to reduce risks to you and your baby, before and after pregnancy.
    Depression: Should I Take Antidepressants While I'm Pregnant?
  • If you have diabetes, it's important during pregnancy to keep your blood sugar in your target range. actionset.gif Planning diabetes care before and during the first few weeks of pregnancy can lower your risk of problems.
  • Obesity during pregnancy can increase the chance of problems. But most women who are obese have healthy babies. Your doctor will follow you closely and will plan a pregnancy weight gain that is right for you. Going on a diet during pregnancy is NOT recommended.
  • If you have chronic high blood pressure during pregnancy, special care may be required. Your doctor may need to change the medicines you take to control your high blood pressure.
  • Managing asthma during pregnancy is important for making sure you and your baby are getting enough oxygen. Most, but not all, asthma medicines are safe to use during pregnancy.
  • Having epilepsy during pregnancy may require you to switch medicine or make other changes. But stopping medicine is not always the best solution. Having seizures during pregnancy can also harm the baby. Talk with your doctor about the best choice for you.
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during pregnancy requires early detection and treatment to prevent newborn infection.
  • Cancer treatment during pregnancy is delayed whenever possible to prevent harm to the baby. But chemotherapy is sometimes used, when needed.

Common infections during pregnancy

  • Vaginal yeast infections are more common in pregnancy because of the increased levels of hormones. Call your doctor or midwife if you have symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection or bacterial vaginal infection (bacterial vaginosis).
  • Urinary tract infection is common during pregnancy and must be treated with antibiotics to prevent a dangerous infection or preterm labor.
  • Bacterial vaginosis (BV) that causes symptoms is usually treated with oral antibiotics.
  • Some women carry group B strep bacteria in their vaginal area. A woman can pass this infection to her baby during vaginal birth. This infection doesn't cause symptoms, but you will be screened for it in your third trimester.
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