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How common are complications during pregnancy and childbirth?

As comforting as it would be to hear that complications during pregnancy and childbirth are rare, the reality is that they are fairly common. In fact, of the 6 million pregnancies that occur every year in the United States, 875,000 women experience one or more pregnancy complication. 

Compounding the complications (or causing them in some cases), many pregnant women receive inadequate prenatal care. As many as 459,000 babies in this country are born every year to mothers who didn't receive proper prenatal care.

Some of the complications a woman can experience during pregnancy include depression, gestational diabetes mellitus or complications due to thyroid disorders. Unfortunately, complications in childbirth are just as common as those that apply to pregnancies. There are nearly 929,000 babies born each year in the U.S. that are either born prematurely, born underweight or born with birth defects.