Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Pregnancy and Before

Pregnancy Complications

Maternal Hypertension
Gestational Diabetes
Other Complications

Complications during pregnancy can involve mother, child or both. They can be related to health problems that affected the women before the pregnancy or to 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 health concerns, please visit our health unit’s Pregnancy section.  

Maternal Hypertension

Maternal hypertension disorders are a range of conditions related to high blood pressure in pregnant women. They are most commonly reported as gestational hypertension, which is a new diagnosis of high blood pressure, developed during pregnancy at or after 20 weeks of gestation. Maternal hypertensive disorders can vary in severity, sometimes leading to preeclampsia in the mother as well as small for gestational age infants.

In 2016, just over 1 in 20 (6.0% (5.4%, 6.7%)) new mothers in Simcoe Muskoka were diagnosed with a hypertension disorder during pregnancy. This is significantly higher than Ontario’s overall rate for the same time period (4.8% (4.7%, 4.9%)). Older women had a slightly higher rate of hypertension diagnoses, but this was not significantly different from younger women. The most common diagnosis was gestational hypertension (69.3%) followed by preeclampsia (18.2%). The proportion of new mothers diagnosed with hypertension disorders did not change from 2013 to 2016.


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, 4.5% (4.0%, 5.1%) of new mothers were diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy in 2016. This is significantly lower than the rate of gestational diabetes across Ontario as a whole, where 6.8% (6.7%, 7.0%) of new mothers had a diagnosis of gestational diabetes.

In 2016, 8.9% (7.2%, 10.9%) of older women (aged 35-49 years) were diagnosed with gestational diabetes in Simcoe Muskoka. This was significantly higher than the proportion of younger women diagnosed (15-24 years: 1.0%* (0.4%, 2.0%); 25-34 years: 4.0% (3.4%, 4.7%)).

* Interpret with caution, high variability.


The proportion of new mothers diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy from 2013 to 2016 did not change in Simcoe Muskoka, but did increase significantly across Ontario as a whole, from 5.8% (2013) to 7.0% (2016).


Other Complications

Less than 1% of new mothers in Simcoe Muskoka experienced each of placental abruption and placenta previa during pregnancy in 2016.