What are some common complications of pregnancy?

Some women experience health problems during pregnancy. These complications can involve the mother's health, the fetus's health, or both. Even women who were healthy before getting pregnant can experience complications. These complications may make the pregnancy a high-risk pregnancy.

For the latest information on COVID-19 and pregnancy, visit CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/pregnancy-breastfeeding.html.

Getting early and regular prenatal care can help decrease the risk for problems by enabling health care providers to diagnose, treat, or manage conditions before they become serious. Prenatal care can also help identify mental health concerns related to pregnancy, such as anxiety and depression.

Some common complications of pregnancy include, but are not limited to, the following.


  1. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2020). Preeclampsia and high blood pressure during pregnancy. FAQ034. Retrieved December 30, 2020, http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Preeclampsia-and-High-Blood-Pressure-During-Pregnancy external link
  2. Leeman, L., & Fontaine, P. (2008). Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. American Family Physician, 78, 93–100. PMID: 18649616
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Births: Final data for 2014. Supplemental table I-6. National Vital Statistics Report, 64(12). Retrieved May 31, 2016, from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_12_tables.pdf (PDF 867 KB)
  4. ACOG. (2013). Gestational diabetes. FAQ177. Retrieved May 31, 2016, from http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Gestational-Diabetes external link
  5. Hernandez-Diaz, S., Toh, S., & Cnattinguis, S. (2009). Risk of pre-eclampsia in first and subsequent pregnancies: prospective cohort study. British Medical Journal, 338, b2255. Retrieved July 31, 2012, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3269902/?tool=pubmed
  6. Office on Women's Health. (2010). Pregnancy: pregnancy complications. Retrieved May 31, 2016, from  https://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/youre-pregnant-now-what/pregnancy-complications
  7. Meis, P. J., Klebanoff, M., Thom E., Dombrowski, M. P., Sibai, B., Moawad, A. H., et al. (2003). Prevention of recurrent preterm delivery by 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate. New England Journal of Medicine, 348, 2379–2385. PMID: 12802023
  8. Le Strat, Y., Dubertret, C., & Le Foll, B. (2011). Prevalence and correlates of major depressive episode in pregnant and postpartum women in the United States. Journal Of Affective Disorders, 135(1-3), 128-138. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2011.07.004.
  9. ACOG. (2015). Early pregnancy loss. FAQ090. Retrieved May 31, 2016, from https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/early-pregnancy-loss external link
  10. National Organization for Rare Diseases. (2015). Hyperemesis gravidarum. Retrieved May 31, 2016, from  http://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/hyperemesis-gravidarum external link
  11. ACOG. (2016). Routine tests during pregnancy. FAQ133. Retrieved August 29, 2016, from http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Routine-Tests-During-Pregnancy external link
  12. ACOG. (2015). Nutrition during pregnancy. FAQ001. Retrieved May 31, 2016, from http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Nutrition-During-Pregnancy external link
  13. Allen, L. H. (2000). Anemia and iron deficiency: effects on pregnancy outcome. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 71(5), 1280s–1284s. Retrieved November 9, 2016, from https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/71/5/1280S/4729385 external link
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