Common Pregnancy Complications That Women Encounter In Different Trimesters

If you are pregnant, take note of these pregnancy complications trimester-wise for a healthy pregnancy.

Written by: Chanchal Sengar Updated at: 2022-02-28 19:52

Pregnancy is an emotional rollercoaster ride, especially if it's your first baby. You have just found out that you are expecting and probably noticing many changes in the body. Most of these changes are perfectly normal and there is nothing to worry about. However, one should always be careful of some symptoms in each trimester as they could indicate underlying complications. Being aware of what you should look out for can ensure both you and your little one are well taken care of. Here, Dr. Suhasini Inamdar, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Indiranagar, Bangalore explains certain common complications that a woman may encounter in different stages of pregnancy.

Complications in the first trimester 

Heavy Vaginal bleeding should not be taken lightly as it can be a sign of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Although some spotting is normal, it is time to reach triage if you have heavy bleeding and bad cramps.

  • Excessive Nausea and Vomiting that interferes with your day-to-day activities can be alarming. Most women experience morning sickness, vomiting, and nausea in the first trimester; however, it is recommended to get a check-up if it's severe and causes dehydration.
  • Vaginal Discharge and Itching may be signs of sexually transmitted diseases or other treatable infections that can harm the mother and the baby. It is better to get the proper treatment to eliminate the risks of further complications.
  • Painful sensations during urination can be caused because of bladder or urinary tract infections. They should be treated immediately; otherwise, they can cause more severe complications like pre-term labour, and pre-term birth.
  • High Fever during pregnancy can be a sign of infections

Complications in the second trimester

The second trimester is usually the most comfortable period of pregnancy as there is no more nausea and vomiting, and the chances of miscarriage have reduced. However, there are a few complications that can still occur.

Pre-term delivery

It is delivery before 37 weeks but beyond 20 weeks. Pre-term labour refers to a complication in which the pregnant mother starts having contractions that cause cervical changes before the usual maturity period of pregnancy, i.e., 37 weeks. Women with multiple pregnancies (twins or more), amnionitis, hydramnios, short cervix or have had a previous pre-term birth are at a greater risk for pre-term labour. 

Also Read: Painless Delivery Is The New Normal, Here Is All You Need To Know About It If You Are Pregnant


Although it is uncommon to suffer miscarriage in the second trimester, they can be caused by different factors like uterine septum, incompetent cervix, and autoimmune diseases. If you notice vaginal bleeding, It is time to consult your doctor.

Third trimester Complications

Weeks 28 through 40 marks the arrival of the third trimester, the most exciting yet challenging time for expectant mothers. The third trimester of pregnancy can be physically and emotionally challenging because of the baby's size and position. Therefore, it is also essential to know the complications in the third trimester.

Complications in the third trimester


Preeclampsia is a severe condition typically occurring in the third trimester. Without proper treatment, it can cause severe complications like eclampsia or seizures, failure of the kidneys, and in extreme cases, can put both the mother’s and the child’s life at risk.

Gestational diabetes

This is the type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy as the body fails to use insulin efficiently due to hormonal changes. The likelihood of caesarean delivery and the risk of birth injuries also increase with gestational diabetes. The mother should make healthy lifestyle choices to prevent gestational diabetes.

Placenta previa

The placenta is the source of all the food and nourishment that a baby gets in the womb. Placenta previa is a condition in which the placenta develops in the lower part of the uterus covering the mouth of the uterus to various extent. This may start separating anytime from uterus after 28 weeks of pregnancy and can give rise to small to torrential bleeding. Women with a previous C-section delivery or who have had surgeries of the uterus are at a higher risk of placenta previa.

Also Read: Pregnant Women Must Know About Placenta Previa Condition

Sleep problems

Insomnia and depression can begin from early pregnancy, but they are more pronounced during the third trimester. It becomes harder for pregnant women to toss and turn in their sleep with a bulging stomach. Most mothers start experiencing depression in the third trimester due to lack of sleep and exhaustion. Since it is harmful to take sleeping pills and antidepressants during pregnancy, the mothers-to-be should try meditation and prenatal yoga to relieve their stress. Listening to calming music and reading positive books will also help.


Though pregnancy can be stressful and overwhelming, it is also a period of joy and happiness. Being aware of complications that may occur will ensure you are prepared and experience a healthy pregnancy. Being in regular touch with your doctor is also very important. These precautions will ensure you have a safe and healthy pregnancy.

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