There are a number of different factors that may put a pregnant mother at risk for complications during her pregnancy. Among some of those increased risk factors, women may be of advanced maternal age, defined as being over 35, be overweight or have anatomical problems. Mothers who have previously suffered problems during previous pregnancies, such as stillbirths, are at increased risk for complications as well.
It's the role of the doctor to carefully monitor both mom and baby for the duration of the pregnancy and during the actual childbirth process to ensure the best end result. If left untreated, medical conditions can put both mom and baby at increased risk for birth injury or death.
As many as six percent of women are believed to already have diabetes when they learn that they're pregnant. Another nearly nine percent will develop gestational diabetes during their pregnancies.
Moms who've already been diagnosed as having diabetes prior to their pregnancies are at increased risk for fetal malformations or death, reduced birth weight or preeclampsia, a type of hypertension.
As for gestational diabetes, it's common for pregnant women to be screened for it no later than the 28th week of their pregnancy. If she's been diagnosed with it previously or has previous unexplained fetal losses, then it should be checked during the first trimester.
Certain populations including Pacific Islanders, Mexican or Native Americans and Asians are at increased risk for developing gestational diabetes. Those with a body mass index in excess of 30, who have had previous low weight babies or with a family history of diabetes are also at increased risk.
A woman who either was diagnosed with hypertension previous to or during the first 20 weeks of her pregnancy is likely to be diagnosed with chronic hypertension. If left untreated either prior to or during the pregnancy, then it can lead to baby receiving less blood flow in utero and thus restricted growth.
Other factors like a mother's diagnosis with either an urinary tract infection or a sexually transmitted disease during pregnancy can put baby and mother at increased risk for either premature birth, preterm labor, a baby's diagnosis with a respiratory infection or fetal death.
If your delayed diagnosis with one of these conditions during your pregnancy resulted in a poor outcome, then a Tucson birth injury attorney can advise you of legal remedies available to you.
Source: Merck Manual, "Risk factors for complications during pregnancy," Raul Artal, MD, accessed Dec. 11, 2017