While some pregnant women complete their pregnancy to full term in a breeze, there are others who had to go through an awful lot of complications — that are unimaginable.
We’ve heard about pregnant women getting all weird with their cravings and everything that’s happening with their bodies. Well, for one, it’s because of the deluge of hormones that make them go crazy sometimes, and the other is the pressure that pregnancy puts on women to make their pregnancy the best it could be.
However, sometimes, there’s just nothing a pregnant woman can do if she’s met with the most uncomfortable of all situations. And what’s worse when what’s happening to her is not what is expected…in other words, she’s one out of only hundreds of pregnant women to feel those symptoms.
So, let’s list down 10 of the most unusual pregnancy complications that every woman prays she will never feel.
Pregnant women eat a lot, and not just any food but different and weird combinations of food, but if you’re one of 38% of pregnant women, you’d want to eat ‘differently,’ and by different, I mean, non-food items. Women with pica disorder have been reported to eat:
- Fecal Matter
- Toilet Rolls
- Laundry detergent and other items that definitely should not be consumed by pregnant women.
It may often disappear after giving birth but some women continue these strange cravings after birth. Many complications are usually a result of contamination or poisoning of the substances a pregnant woman is consuming.
While there is no known cause for pica, women who have this should see a dietician and psychologist to help in what action to take if not curb their unlikely cravings.
Also called choasma or “The Mask of Pregnancy”, melasma are brown patches which appear on a pregnant woman’s skin on the forehead, cheeks and upper lip. It happens when there is an increase in oestrogen levels which results to a more than normal production of melanin. It affects 50-75% of pregnant women, who will see a dark line down the middle of their stomach called the linea negra.
This hyperpigmentation is known to be due to the lack of folic acid in a pregnant woman’s body, so eating leafy green vegetables, oranges, whole grain bread and prenatal vitamins can help.
But, worry not, expectant mums, it usually goes away after giving birth or after you’re done with breastfeeding.
3. Obstetric cholestasis
While itching during pregnancy may be a common symptom, severe itching is different and could be obstetric cholestasis. It is a dysfunction of the liver, due to hormones, which enables the build up of bile in a woman’s blood, thus causing the severe itching.
The itching is often persistent on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet and is uncomfortable, but it’s not harmful for both the mum and the baby. To help soothe these symptoms, a pregnant mum can apply creams, wear loose clothing and take warm baths.
It usually goes away after birth, but health care professionals suggest that mums make a follow-up appointment around 6-8 weeks after delivery to make sure the symptoms are gone.
It is reported that around 45 and 90 out of 100 women who experience obstetric cholestasis with their first pregnancy will develop it again in her following pregnancies.
4. Amniotic Band Syndrome
This is one complication a pregnant woman prays she will not feel, although it is very rare and is not genetic. However, there is nothing in particular that an expectant mum can to do to avoid it.
This occurs when the inner membrane (amnion) ruptures, which exposes the foetus to fibrous tissues in the uterus. The tissues can become wrapped around the baby’s body parts which can cause deformities.
Its treatment would involve in-utero surgery to try to free the baby from restrictive fibrous tissues.
5. Vasa Previa
This is an extremely rare pregnancy complication which happens to just 1 out of 2,500 pregnancies. This is when foetal blood vessels from the umbilical cord or the placenta rest in front of the birth canal, and the nutrients at the bottom of the placenta are not as rich as the ones at the top of it.
Treatment involves placing the mother on bed rest at the start of the third trimester and the baby will be given steroids for lung development.
6. Hyperemesis Gravidarum
While around 70-80% of pregnant women experience morning sickness in the first trimester, only 1-2% of pregnant women feel the ‘royal’ pain of Hyperemesis Gravidarum, also known as HG.
If you have experienced this complication in your pregnancy, then you know how Kate Middleton felt during her early pregnancies.
Its symptoms include food aversion, severe nausea and vomiting, weight loss, dehydration, headaches, fatigue and confusion. Sufferers may also experience anxiety and/or depression.
While the cause of HG is yet to be determined, many health care professionals believe it is caused by an increase in hormone levels, particularly the hormone hcG, created by the placenta during pregnancy.
Its treatment may include intravenous fluids (IV), anti-nausea medication, bed rest, acupressure and even hypnosis. This complication usually lasts between 16 and 20 weeks, but some women may suffer this during the entire pregnancy, although the baby is out of harm’s way if the mum suffers this complication.