Obstetrics is concerned with managing pregnancy, labour and the puerperium (the time after delivery). Some factors present before a woman becomes pregnant can cause a high-risk pregnancy, including: young or old maternal age; being overweight or underweight; problems in previous pregnancies; and pre-existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or HIV. Health problems can also develop during a pregnancy to make it high-risk. Such problems may occur even in a woman who was previously healthy. They include: Preeclampsia is a syndrome that includes high blood pressure, urinary protein and changes in blood levels of liver enzymes during pregnancy. It can affect the mother’s kidneys, liver and brain. If left untreated, the condition can lead to long-term health problems or it can be fatal for mother and/or baby. Eclampsia is a severe form of preeclampsia that can cause seizures and coma in the mother. Gestational diabetes mellitus (or gestational diabetes) is a type of diabetes that affects only pregnant women. Treatment plans help mothers have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. Preterm labour begins before 37 weeks of pregnancy. The baby is not fully grown at this time, so it may not be able to survive outside the womb. Steps will be taken to try to stop labour if it occurs before this time. Other medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart, breathing or kidney problems can become more serious during pregnancy. Regular prenatal care can help ensure a healthier pregnancy.
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