Patient Info

These are some words that your doctor might use and some complications that may arise in pregnancy

Antepartum haemorrhage

This is where bleeding occurs in the later stages of pregnancy. One cause is where the placenta is low lying  ( placenta praevia). Another is where a clot forms behind the placenta (abruption). Both conditions can be serious and your doctor will monitor your pregnancy carefully and decide on the timing and method of delivery.

Big baby (macrosomia)

Big babies usually do not cause a problem. Early delivery is mostly not required unless you have diabetes.


This is where your baby is presenting bottom first. If you are past 37 weeks, your doctor may offer to turn the baby.  He may also offer to deliver by Caesarean section or allow for a breech delivery.

Chicken Pox

If you are pregnant and encounter someone with chicken pox, the first thing your obstetrician will determine is whether or not you are immune to chicken pox. If you are not immune to chicken pox, your doctor will then decide if any treatment is required depending on your gestation.

Elective Caesarean section

The word ‘elective’ is used to distinguish this from an ‘emergency’ Caesarean section. An elective Caesarean section is a planned Caesarean section. There should be a good reason for a Caesarean section. If there is no medical reason and you want a Caesarean section because of concerns about labour, then you need to discuss this thoroughly with your obstetrician.

High blood pressure/ pre-eclampsia

High blood pressure can complicate pregnancy. Usually this is not a problem. If it is complicated by protein in the urine (proteinuria), then this may be a sign of a condition called pre-eclampsia. In this case, your  doctor may advise an earlier delivery.


The liquor is the amniotic fluid around the baby. It is an indirect measure of the wellbeing of the baby. There are many reasons why there can be too little or too much fluid around the baby.


Most of the times, a miscarriage occurs without an obvious reason. If a woman miscarries repeatedly, then tests should be performed to find an underlying cause.

Obstetric  Choleostasis

This is where the mother complains of itching and blood tests of her liver function are abnormal. Your doctor may suggest treatment with tablets and would quite often offer delivery early.

Parvovirus (Slapped-cheek syndrome)

If your encounter a child with Parvovirus, your doctor will check whether you are immune.  In some cases, this virus can lead to anaemia ( a low blood count ) in your baby.

Premature labour

This is defined as labour before 37 weeks. There is usually no identifiable cause. If there is a triggering factor such as a urine infection, then it is important to treat this.

Rhesus disease

This may occur if the mother has a certain blood type ( Rhesus negative). In a minority of cases this may lead to anaemia in the baby. Mother’s who are Rhesus negative are routinely offered anti D at 29 weeks to prevent Rhesus disease in any future pregnancy.

Small baby (intrauterine growth restriction)

A baby may appear small on ultrasound scan. Usually this is not a serious problem. Your doctor may advise more regular scanning to ensure your baby continues to grow and may suggest earlier delivery in some cases.


Pregnant women are at increased risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is essentially a blood clot.  If this happens, it usually occurs in the leg.  The risk is that this might travel to the lungs and hence can be dangerous. If you develop a clot, you will be treated with a blood thinning agent.

Whooping cough and flu

Current government recommendations are that all pregnant women should be vaccinated against whooping cough and flu.