Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Pregnancy and Before

Pregnancy Complications

Maternal Hypertension 
Gestational Diabetes 
Other Complications

Complications during pregnancy can involve the mother, child or both. They can be related to health problems that affected the women before the pregnancy or problems that arise during the pregnancy. Many pregnancy complications can be controlled through diet (e.g. gestational diabetes and hypertension) and/or medical treatment.

For information on maternal mental health conditions, please visit our health unit’s Pregnancy section.  

Maternal Hypertension

Maternal hypertension is high blood pressure diagnosed during pregnancy after 20 weeks of gestation. It can vary in severity, sometimes leading to preeclampsia in the mother as well as small for gestational age infants.

In 2014, approximately 1 in 20 (5.6% (4.9%, 6.2%)) of pregnant women in Simcoe Muskoka were diagnosed with a hypertension disorder during pregnancy. This is similar to Ontario’s overall rate for the same time period (4.9% (4.7%, 5.0%)). Older pregnant women had a slightly higher proportion of diagnoses of hypertension, but it was not significantly different from younger pregnant women. The most common diagnosis was gestational hypertension (74.3%) followed by preeclampsia (14.9%).


Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs when the body cannot effectively metabolize sugars leading to high levels of sugar in the blood during pregnancy. Poorly managed gestational diabetes can increase a pregnant women’s risk of preeclampsia and preterm birth as well as large for gestational age infants.

In Simcoe Muskoka, 3.5% (3.0%, 4.0%) of pregnant women were diagnosed with gestational diabetes in 2014. This is significantly lower than the rate of gestational diabetes across Ontario as a whole, where 6.1% (6.0%, 6.25%) of pregnant women had a diagnosis of gestational diabetes.

In 2014, 5.8% (4.2%, 7.6%) of older pregnant women (aged 35-49 years) were diagnosed with gestational diabetes in Simcoe Muskoka. This was significantly higher than the proportion of younger pregnant women diagnosed (15-24 years: 1.7%* (0.9%, 2.7%); 25-34 years: 3.4% (2.8%, 4.1%)).

* Interpret with caution, high variability.


Other Complications

Less than 1% of pregnant women in Simcoe Muskoka experienced each of placental abruption and placenta previa in 2014.