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Jul 7, 2011

Healthy Living’s complicated pregnancy

Some women are fortunate to have smooth sailing during their pregnancy, but others may encounter serious health problems. Complications can be life threatening to the baby, the mother and in some cases, both. This week’s Healthy Living focuses on common pregnancy complications and gets expert advice from Obstetrician, Dr. Mauricio Navarette.

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

Pregnancy is marked by rapid changes in a woman’s body.  Most expectant mothers take all necessary precautions to try and ensure a safe pregnancy and delivery but sometimes there are health problems that do occur. Obstetrician and Gynecologist  Dr Mauricio Navarette helps us to understand the causes for some of the more common pregnancy complications.

Mauricio Navarrete

Dr. Mauricio Navarrete, Obstetrician/Gynecologist

“There’s actually two trimesters that women are most at risks: the first and the third trimester. We consider the second trimester like the honeymoon trimester the sweet trimester because not many things are bound to happen.”

A pregnancy is divided into 3 trimesters: the first being from week 0 to week 12, the second from week 13 to week 28 and the third from week 28 to week 40.

Dr. Mauricio Navarrete

“The first trimester is one of the most important because that is when most of the development is taking place many women or many people fail to realize that by the time the first trimester is finished. The baby is fully developed so we go from being a two cell organism one or two days after to conception to being a fully developed baby at 12 weeks.  One of the most known complications of the first trimester is miscarriage. So if the implantation does not occur properly, miscarriage might occur or it might give rise to other complications like ectopic pregnancies for example. An ectopic pregnancy is/a pregnancy that occurs or that implants anywhere but inside the uterine cavity.  So ectopic pregnancy may be tubal, which is most common which means that the pregnancy implants itself in the fallopian tube. it may be cervical, which means the pregnancy might bypass the uterus and implant in the cervix or they might be abdominal or ovarian which are very rare but have the greatest complications and greatest mortality for the mother as well.”

Ectopic pregnancies are one of the pregnancy complications that can be life threatening to the mother. According to Dr Navarette, the baby’s survival rate is slim as few babies would grow to full term.

Dr. Mauricio Navarrete

“The main problem with ectopic pregnancies is bleeding. Because they are not located where they are suppose to be located the tubes, cervix or ovary, which are organs where they might be implanted, are not designed to stretch so as the pregnancies start growing at around 6 weeks they tend to rupture so once they tear and rupture blood vessels tear and rupture as well and women start having internal bleeding.”

This is why it is very important to diagnose ectopic pregnancies early. Moving into the second trimester the potential complications change.

Dr. Mauricio Navarrete

“The baby is growing the baby is developing more and more, respiratory system actually starts developing  properly at round 21/22 weeks which falls within that trimester. Important for most mothers they can find out the sex of the baby during the second trimester, normally around 20 weeks. The two most common complication would find would be cervical incompetence which si whereby women actually would start having labor without them knowing  and then they may lose the baby without much warning.  It is not common but it does happen. The other complication would be premature labor, what we call extreme pre-maturity.”

Some of the risk factors for complications for this stage include:

Dr. Mauricio Navarrete

“Chronic disease for example women who have chronic hypertensions, chronic diabetes, women who have other disease that are compromising for example certain cancers or severe nutritional deficiencies all of these have these kind of complications  women who have a lot of children also have more risk of these things happening.”

As a woman nears the end of her pregnancy, she enters the third trimester: another critical time.

Dr. Mauricio Navarrete

“The third trimester is usually the most uncomfortable trimester for most women. The baby is of course moving a lot, the baby is generally fully developed except for of course the respiratory system which is the last system to fully develop. What the baby generally do in the third trimester, if you see baby at 28 weeks they are normally very skinny as they go on from 30 weeks onward that’s when they start putting on a lot of weight and that’s when they look plump. Like a baby is suppose to look. Some of the complications in the third trimester are bleeding complications due to either premature labor which is more common in the third trimester than in the second. Issues with the placenta, some women may have placenta previa which is an abnormal position of the placenta which may cause them to have bleeding. That may occur in the whole pregnancy but its more common to have it the third trimester.”

Dr Navarette has seen all of these complications with pregnant women in Belize. The most common complication in Belize though can be monitored to reduce the risk.

Dr. Mauricio Navarrete

“In Belize, pregnancy induced hypertension si the most common complication in the third trimester; it is a condition that is not necessarily preventable. We can’t predict which women are gonna have it and which women are not. But it does impact the quality of the pregnancy. It might impact the end result of the pregnancy of itself. Still today, pregnancy induced hypertension is the number one cause of maternal deaths which means pregnancy induced hypertension with its complication. Morbidity wise, as a sickness, we are seeing a lot of gestational diabetes and the fact that women become sedentary during pregnancy.”

Some complications can be prevented or the risks minimized by a regular check up with your doctor.

Dr. Mauricio Navarrete

“There are several things that a woman can do and that goes not just by trimester but throughout the pregnancy. First of all consult with the physician about what kind of exercise you should do. Again, asking what to do what not to do. A healthy diet, avoiding a lot of snack, soft drinks and things like that of ocurse these are the things that can predispose you or make you at a higher risk for gestational diabetes.”

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2 Responses for “Healthy Living’s complicated pregnancy”

  1. nikkbatt says:

    I Like this. It gives women a chance to know what is happening with their body. One Question: Why does one have to get cut?

  2. stranger says:

    My advice to all women if you want to have a healthy and safe baby and of coarse if you also want to stay safe, consult Dr. Navarette at Belize Healthcare Partners Ltd; have him be your gynecologist. Mauricio Navarette is the best gyno in Belize and his wife Wendy is also a very good doctor she is the pediatrician.

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