Dr. Oyejoke Oyapero, Head of Paediatrics, Amuwo Odofin Maternal and Child Centre in Lagos, has advised pregnant women suffering from diabetes, hypertension, sickle cell and asthma diseases to always attend their antenatals to avoid complications.
Oyapero, who gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos, said such complications during pregnancy could affect the mothers and their babies.
She said such complications could result in having preterm babies or those born with low birth weights.
According to her, though not all preterm deliveries are preventable, because they could occur suddenly, most can be anticipated and managed for better outcomes.
Oyapero said babies born too soon, too small or too sick could have complications such as cerebral palsy, blindness or deafness because some of their organs were not fully developed.
She said: “If the mother has any chronic illness, if she is diabetic, hypertensive, sickle celled or asthmatic, she needs to be closely monitored and treated for the disease.
“The complications should be evaluated because it may have direct bearing on the baby.
“Some of these conditions naturally make the baby small.
“They affect the placenta and when the baby is not getting enough nutrients, the baby will come out small.
“If they cannot continue to prolong the pregnancy beyond a certain point, then they should quickly bring the mother in and plan the delivery with the paediatrician, obstetrician and other specialists.”
The paediatrician also cautioned pregnant women against using hospitals without facilities to care for babies born with complications.
She urged them to eat and rest well, take lots of water, fruits and vegetables, and ensure that they know signs to look out for, which could indicate that there might be a problem with the pregnancy.
Oyapero highlighted some of the signs as vaginal discharge that could be watery or sticky with a foul smell, draining, fainting spells or an unusual change in her condition.
She added: “They need to keep their appointments; it’s very paramount they do all the investigations they are asked to and take all the drugs they are given.
“If they notice anything unusual, they should complain to their doctors.”