Medical Aspects of Pregnancy

Authored by: Annemarie Hennessy

Routledge International Handbook of Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health

Print publication date:  October  2019
Online publication date:  September  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138490260
eBook ISBN: 9781351035620
Adobe ISBN:


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Understanding the scope of the medical aspects of any individual pregnancy includes learning of the full cycle of reproductive events. This includes a woman’s pregnancy planning, conception events, her access to and journey through antenatal care, the childbirth process, immediate post-partum issues (e.g., feeding support and practices), and the impact of pregnancy events on her long-term health and well-being and that of her family. This chapter will focus on the medical aspects of pregnancy. The chapter begins with discussion of normal physiological changes in pregnancy, then discusses the purpose of monitoring in pregnancy, routine antenatal care, and the role of prevention and intervention for medical complications. Detailed discussion is then provided of the common medical complications of pregnancy, including hypertension; post-partum haemorrhage (PPH); clotting; pregnancy-related bacterial infection (sepsis); pregnancy related viral infection; diabetes in pregnancy; heart disease in pregnancy; and liver disease in pregnancy. The implications for the woman, her family and the health system are discussed.

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