What is a high-risk pregnancy – Risk Factors & Preventing Complications
What is a high-risk pregnancy?
Many factors can put women at risk of having a high-risk pregnancy. Once your doctor has advised you that you are in a high-risk category, various rules may need to be followed in order to protect your health and the health of the baby. If you are at high risk before you become pregnant, special precautions and special measures might have to be taken in order to get pregnant in the first place and in order to sustain the pregnancy. Many women who are told they are unable to get pregnant or who have been unsuccessfully trying to conceive for a long time can overcome obstacles and have a successful pregnancy.
Complications are frightening but with care and proper doctor supervision, you can minimize your chances of having problems that will jeopardize your health or the health of your baby. In some situations, no amount of caution or care will make a difference, so if something has gone wrong, don’t blame yourself.
Is Your Pregnancy High Risk and What are the factors that put a pregnancy at risk?
- Age: Age is one of the biggest factors and if you are younger than 17 or older than 35 and are pregnant, yours is a complicated pregnancy.
- Lifestyle issues: Some of the major causes are lifestyle related – smoking, alcohol or drugs.
- Difficult past pregnancy: If you have had a C-section sometimes before, or if you delivered a low birth-weight baby, your risk in the next pregnancy increases. If yours is a second pregnancy and you delivered a baby with a genetic problem during your first pregnancy, you are at risk.
- Genetic causes: If your family has had a history of miscarriages, you are at genetic risk.
- Chronic health problems: Diabetes, epilepsy or high BP leads to a complicated pregnancy. Mental health issues or infections and anemia could also cause a high-risk pregnancy. Any infection such as chickenpox, rubella, toxoplasmosis or cytomegalovirus (CMV) causes a complication in pregnancy.
- Preeclampsia: This is a complication during pregnancy that involves high BP and symptoms of damage to one of the organs. The complication automatically puts you under this category.
- Gestational diabetes: This is a kind of diabetes that some women may get during their pregnancy. It is not as if you will continue to be diabetic after delivering your baby, but you are at risk of getting it yet again during your next pregnancy or later on in life.
- Multiple pregnancy: If you are pregnant with more than one baby, yours is a high-risk pregnancy. There is a risk of delivery your babies prematurely, leading to health problems for your newborns. The earlier your baby is born, the greater the health risks because the babies are born without fully developed lungs or other organs.
- Medications: There are certain drugs that could lead to a high-risk pregnancy. Pregnant women should always check with their doctors before taking any over the counter drug.
- Complications during pregnancy: If you are having problems such as too much or too little amniotic fluid, stunted fetal growth, they lead to a high-risk pregnancy. If your blood group is Rh negative and your baby is Rh positive, it is a major cause.
Do you need a high-risk OB?
Some risk factors may require that you see a specialist. This way you can be assured that someone familiar with your circumstances is looking after you and your baby. If you know beforehand that you are likely to have a high-risk pregnancy you may choose to start with a specialist up front. If part way through your pregnancy your pregnancy becomes high-risk, your doctor may refer you to a specialist that has knowledge in the area of your specific factors.
How to prevent complications during high-risk pregnancy?
- One of the steps you could take to enjoy a healthy pregnancy is to schedule an appointment with your doctor even as you are planning a pregnancy. You may be given prenatal vitamin supplements or be treated for a medical issue. There are many high-risk pregnancy hospitals, but make sure you seek the one with a good team of doctors and has a great track record.
- If you have been told that yours is a complicated pregnancy, you might be asked to undergo many screening tests before you get your pregnancy treatment. You will also be asked to make lifestyle changes for a healthy and happy pregnancy.
- When you experience any worrying symptoms, discuss them and any relevant lifestyle or diet information with your doctor. To do so it is not only a precaution but also it shows your prudence. Try to visit your doctor frequently and be sure to make appointments that your doctor deems essential, because, of course, the health and development of the baby can be ensured by extra ultrasounds.
- Ensure that you make changes to your lifestyle when necessary. In other words, keep away from alcohol and cigarettes. If you want to avoid fetal alcohol syndrome or low birth weight, stop these habits. Pregnancy skin care is needed for good health condition. You need to improve your immune system and the health of your unborn child by taking prenatal vitamins. Moreover, added vitamin supplements may be recommended, as needed, by your doctor.
- It is perfectly possible to manage a high-risk status and give and give birth to healthy babies. However, it is essential to take care of yourself. You may love to eat lots of junk food with the excuse of being pregnant, but eating during pregnancy should be appropriate and, most importantly, healthy. The notion that works behind this thinking is that you have to eat for two. However, you need to bear in mind that overindulgence can damage your chances of a safe delivery and healthy baby, especially if you are experiencing a difficult pregnancy.
Have you announced your pregnancy yet?
If not, here are a few creative ideas for pregnancy announcement:
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