Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Pregnancy and Before

Complications During Pregnancy

Maternal Hypertension
Gestational Diabetes

Complications during pregnancy can involve the pregnant person, the child or both. They can be related to health problems that affected the birth parent 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.

Data on this page are from the Better Outcomes Registry and Network (BORN) unless otherwise indicated.

Maternal Hypertension

Maternal hypertension disorders are a range of conditions related to high blood pressure in pregnant individuals. 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 pregnant individual as well as small for gestational age infants.

Among Simcoe Muskoka residents who gave birth in 2018, 1 in 20 (5.1% (4.5%, 5.7%)) were diagnosed with a hypertension disorder during their pregnancy. This is similar to Ontario at 5.1% (5.0%, 5.2%)). The prevalence of maternal hypertension did not change significantly between 2013 and 2018 either locally or provincially. The trend of increasing hypertension with increasing age is not significant.


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 person’s risk of preeclampsia and preterm birth as well as large for gestational age infants.

Among Simcoe Muskoka residents who gave birth in 2018, 6.0% (5.4%, 6.7%) were diagnosed with gestational diabetes. This is significantly lower than Ontario at 8.3% (8.1%, 8.4%). The percentage of pregnant individuals with gestational diabetes significantly increased in Simcoe Muskoka from 3.8% (3.2%, 4.3%) in 2013 to 6.0% (5.4%, 6.7%) in 2018. The Ontario prevalence also significantly increased between 2013 and 2018.


The prevalence of gestational diabetes increases significantly with increasing maternal age. In 2018, 12.1% (10.2%, 14.3%) of 35-49 year olds had gestational diabetes compared to 1.7%* (0.8%, 3.0%) of 15-24 year olds, and 5.0% (4.3%, 7.7%) of 25-34 year olds.

* Interpret with caution, high variability.