Reviewed April 2014, next review April 2017
Problems in pregnancy
Some pregnancies develop problems along the way that result in medical complications for both mum and baby.
We understand the importance of providing parents with open and honest advice based on fact, which can help to understand what has happened, the possible reasons for it and how to prevent it happening again.
Pregnancy pains and aches
Whether you have stomach pain, headaches, swollen feet or a high temperature, in many cases it is difficult to know whether your symptoms are serious or not in pregnancy.
Swelling feet or hands
Constant morning sickness
Diarrhoea and vomiting
Baby moving less
Pain in your pelvic area/lower back
I just don't feel right
Miscarriage and stillbirth
The death of a baby at any stage in pregnancy is difficult for everyone involved. It’s natural to ask, ‘Why us?’ Regrettably it’s not always possible to give an accurate answer.
Find out more about ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, miscarriage and stillbirth.
Premature birth can be a stressful experience for all involved and, in some cases, very premature babies may not survive or may go on to have long-term health problems.
Find out more about premature birth.
There are some complications that can happen during pregnancy.
Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) or Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) is a condition that causes pain in the lower back and/or pelvis during pregnancy
Pre-eclampsia is thought to affect one in twenty of all pregnancies. In most of these cases, it will be a mild case and may have no effect on pregnancy. Approximately one in two hundred women will go on to develop severe pre-eclampsia.
Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection. Normally, this infection does not have symptoms and, in fact, a large percentage of people will never know they have been infected by the toxoplasmosis parasite. However, if you are pregnant and become infected, toxoplasmosis may have serious effects on your baby’s development.
A molar pregnancy is a very rare complication of pregnancy. It occurs when something goes wrong during the fertilisation process. It is caused by an abnormal cell growth of all or part of the placenta.
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilised egg implants itself somewhere other than the wall of the uterus.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy. It is also known as ‘hyperglycaemia in pregnancy’.
Placenta praevia is a condition whereby the placenta attaches lower down in the womb and may cover all, or part of, the cervix.
If you have placental abruption it means that some or all of your placenta has separated from the wall of the womb.
If your waters break early (Preterm premature rupture of membranes - PPROM) it means that the amniotic sac has ruptured or broken and your 'waters', the amniotic fluid, is leaking out.
If you need more help call our midwives on
PregnancyLine 0800 0147 800
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Preterm birth and labour, guidance in development final scope, London NICE, 2013. Also available at: http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/live/14004/62814/62814.pdf (accessed 8 April 2014)
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Pre-eclampsia: what you need to know, London RCGO, 2013. Also available at: http://www.rcog.org.uk/womens-health/clinical-guidance/pre-eclampsia-what-you-need-know (accessed 8 April 2014)
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Hypertension in pregnancy: the management of hypertensive disorders during pregnancy, clinical guideline CG107, London NICE, 2011
Public Health Wales, Results of toxoplasma study. Cardiff Public Health Wales, 2007. Also available at: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/news/14491 (accessed 8 April 2014)
In this section