Dr. Suzanne Trupin is a Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign. She graduated from Stanford University and completed her medical training at New York Medical in Valhalla, New York. She received her residency training at the University of Southern California Women's Hospital in Los Angeles, California. She is Board-Certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Maternal weight gain: The amount of weight a woman gains when pregnant can be important in predicting a normal pregnancy.
Too much weight gain puts the woman who is pregnant at risk for diabetes and hypertension, and
it may increase the chance for needing a cesarean birth.
Too little weight gain puts the baby at risk for growth restriction and the mother at risk for anemia, nutritional deficiencies, and osteoporosis.
Nausea and vomiting: Even
if the woman who is pregnant experiences what seems like an abnormal amount of
nausea and vomiting (morning sickness), it probably will not affect the baby's
health, particularly if the woman is still gaining weight at the expected
Maternal diabetes (types 1 and 2): If the woman who is pregnant has diabetes or develops diabetes during
pregnancy, it can cause early labor, birth defects, and very large babies.
Low or high red blood cell
counts: The normal red blood cell count range varies slightly between
laboratories, but is generally 4.2 - 5.9 million red cells per microliter. The
risk of having a baby prematurely is increased if the woman's blood count is
low (anemia). Low blood counts also put her at risk of needing a transfusion
after delivery. If the woman's blood count is too high (polycythemia), her
baby may be smaller than expected.
Maternal obesity: A person with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 is considered obese. If a woman who is pregnant is obese and has diabetes, her baby is three times more likely to have a birth defect. If she
is obese but does not have diabetes, the risk of birth defects is not
Maternal age: If the woman who is pregnant is older than 35 years, her baby has a higher risk of birth defects and complications. The focus of genetic screening is
to enable the woman to understand any problems her fetus or infant may have.
There is a 2-3% rate of major birth defects in this population.
Folic Acid Deficiency: A
pregnancy which is deficient in the nutrient folic acid, also known as folate, could lead to neural tube defects
in a fetus. Neural Tube Defects are malformations of the brain and spinal cord
which typically occur with in the first few weeks of pregnancy; therefore,
folic acid supplements should be taken prior to conception and during the
course of pregnancy. It is recommended all non-pregnant women take a daily
supplement with 400mg of folate and pregnant women take a supplement with
600mg of folate.
DHA Deficiency: During
pregnancy, a diet which is deficient in the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid
(DHA) could lead to inadequate development of the eyes, brain, and central
nervous system of a fetus. It is recommended that pregnant and lactating women
consume 300mg DHA per day, which can be found in animal meats, fish, eggs, and
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Deficiency: Having an Omega-3 deficiency during pregnancy can be harmful to the mother
and baby. Omega-3's are polyunsaturated fats that support the growth and
development of a fetus and help reduce the risks of pregnancy complications.
It is recommended women consume 300mg of Omega-3's daily during the course of
pregnancy, which can be found in cold water fish, eggs, walnuts, and dark green leafy vegetables.