PCOS Pregnancy and Delivery Complications

Women with PCOS are at higher risk for pregnancy and delivery complications. These include an increased risk in miscarriage in early pregnancy, gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) which can lead to large babies, preeclampsia (s

Updated: October 24, 2017

Women with PCOS are at higher risk for pregnancy and delivery complications. These include an increased risk in miscarriage in early pregnancy, gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) which can lead to large babies, preeclampsia (sudden elevated blood pressure) and body swelling after the 20th week of pregnancy, preterm birth, and C-section delivery.

Miscarriage or early loss of pregnancy:

Women with PCOS are more likely to miscarry in the early months of pregnancy compare to women without PCOS. Metformin may reduce the risk of miscarriage in pregnant women with PCOS.

Gestational diabetes:

This is a type of diabetes that only pregnant women get. It is treatable and if controlled, does not cause any complications for the mother or fetus. The condition goes away after the baby is born in most cases. Babies whose mothers have gestational diabetes can be very large resulting in the need for cesarean, or C-section delivery. Women with gestational diabetes and their children are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes later in life.

Preeclampsia:

This is a condition where there is a sudden increase in blood pressure after the 20th week of pregnancy which can affect the mother's kidneys, liver, and brain. If left untreated, preeclampsia can turn into eclampsia which can cause organ damage, seizures, and even death. The primary treatment for the condition is to deliver the baby, even preterm if necessary. Pregnant women with preeclampsia may require a C-section delivery, which will have additional risks for both mother and baby.

Pregnancy induced high blood pressure:

In the second half of pregnancy this condition may occur which can lead to preeclampsia. This type of high blood pressure can also affect delivery of the baby if left untreated.

Preterm birth:

If the baby is delivered before 37 weeks of pregnancy, this is considered preterm. Preterm babies are at risk for many health problems right after birth and later in life as well. Some of these problems can be serious and may lead to many health complications.

Cesarean or C-section delivery:

Because of the pregnancy complications associated with PCOS, such as pregnancy induced high blood pressure, pregnant women with PCOS are more likely to have C-sections.
Recovery after C-section delivery can take longer than vaginal birth, since it is a surgical procedure and can have risks for both the mother and babies.

Care That You Need During Pregnancy:

Blood glucose:

When you are pregnant, you will probably need to check your blood sugar several times a day. Blood glucose level need to be tested before meals, one or two hours after a meal, at bedtime, and during the night.

Insulin:

If you were already using an insulin pump before pregnancy, you should keep using it. You may have to adjust the dose according to the level of sugar while you are pregnant.
In most cases it is not required to start using an insulin pump for the first time during pregnancy. However if other types of insulin treatment do not control your blood sugar, you may need to switch to an insulin pump.

Medical nutrition therapy:

A dietitian will be the right person for your nutrition therapy. This therapy includes a healthy eating plan which will help you get the nutrients you need and gain the right amount of weight, while controlling your blood sugar. The dietitian may suggest you limit the amount of carbohydrates, or “carbs” such as rice, potatoes, bread, and certain fruits, that you eat. Your dietitian also will advise how often to eat and how many calories to eat a day. It is better idea to cut down the large meals to 3 to 3 small meals with 2 to 4 snacks a day.

Vitamins:

Once you finish your first trimester of pregnancy (week 12), it is advisable to decrease the dose of folic acid.  The recommended dose of folic acid is 0.4 mg to 1 mg per day through the rest of pregnancy and until you stop breastfeeding.


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