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What Is a Normal Pregnancy?

A pregnant woman.
A normal pregnancy implies there were no major difficulties.
Obstetricians check for any complications with a fetus.
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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 18 March 2014
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A normal pregnancy is typically described as a gestation period that incurs no major obstacles or difficulties for the unborn fetus or mother's general health. Conversely, any complications that might put the baby or mother at a high risk would mean the pregnancy was not "normal." During a normal pregnancy, the expectant mother will visit her obstetrician typically on a monthly basis during the first several months. During the last trimester, she may be advised to see her physician more frequently, which is also typical in a normal pregnancy.

During the course of a normal pregnancy, the expectant mother will have a blood pressure reading that falls into the average range. She will have a healthy target weight as well. As the fetus develops in the womb, the mother will expect to gain weight accordingly. In a normal pregnancy, the mother will show no signs of spotting, heavy pregnancy cramps, or vaginal discharge that warrants suspicion.

In pregnancy, the woman will have an average core body temperature with no major fluctuations. Other than typical minor discomfort, there will be no major physical distress signals or adverse signs. During the stages of pregnancy, she may have periodic laboratory work, such as a urine analysis and blood test. If the mother and unborn child are in good health and the pregnancy is normal, blood and urine samples will show no signs of disease or problematic conditions.

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To ensure a healthy pregnancy, the obstetrician will want to rule out the presence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or hepatitis. The normal pregnancy will have no presence of a sexually transmitted disease (STD). The mother will not have iron deficiencies or signs of anemia. She will typically be tested for function of her thyroid gland. Functioning should be at peak levels for the pregnancy to be considered "normal."

Nearing the third trimester, it is normal procedure to test the unborn child for birth defects and conditions. These procedures are typically done on an optional basis at the mother's request. If she is at risk for having a Down Syndrome baby, due to the mother's age for example, she may want to be tested.

If the due date passes and delivery is considerably late, this would not typify a normal pregnancy. This is because, as the baby continues to grow in weight and size, the placenta may diminish and be unable to support the fetus. Therefore, if the pregnancy is considered to be healthy and normal, the baby will be delivered no later than several days to a week past due date.

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