30 August, 2018

What is high-risk pregnancy and what to expect?

A high-risk pregnancy is one that has a greater chance of encountering problems before, during, or after delivery. It requires more careful monitoring than a typical pregnancy. Even though there is the possibility of complications, early detection and regular care can ensure a healthy delivery and baby.

Here is what you need to know about high-risk pregnancy to keep you and your baby safe:

Screening

Screening is a way to gather information to see if someone is at risk for a condition. These tests do not give a diagnosis, but they can help doctors recognize who may have or develop an issue. Doctors will screen and monitor all pregnant women during their prenatal appointments. Screening begins at your very first visit and continues throughout pregnancy. Some of the screening tools and tests doctors use include checking:

  • Family history
  • Health history
  • Pregnancy history
  • Physical examination
  • Weight and blood pressure measurements
  • Ultrasound
  • Blood and urine tests

If your medical history or any other screening results show that you may be more likely to face complications during pregnancy, then your doctor will follow your pregnancy more closely.

Around 20-30 percent of all pregnancies are high risk. Here are some of the causes that may lead you to have a high risk pregnancy:

  1. Maternal Age

Typically, pregnancy is healthiest in your 20’s. You are more likely to encounter problems if you are in your teenage years or over 35 years of age.

  1. Pregnancy History

Your pregnancy history can help your doctor decide if you need more monitoring or testing during this one. Previous pregnancy concerns include:

  • Multiple miscarriages
  • A long history of infertility
  • Premature labor in a previous pregnancy
  • Pregnancy that ended in an early delivery
  • Previous stillbirth or the loss of a newborn
  • Previous pregnancies that resulted in a C-section
  • Five or more pregnancies
  1. Medical History

If you already have a known heath condition before you become pregnant, doctors will monitor you carefully to prevent it from getting worse or having an effect on your pregnancy. Health issues that can lead to pregnancy complications include:

  • Fibroids in your uterus
  • Previous surgery of your uterus
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • A heart condition
  • Cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • HIV
  • Obesity
  • Autoimmune disorders
  1. State of Current Pregnancy

You may be considered high risk if:

  • You are carrying more than one baby
  • Your baby is not growing as expected
  • Prenatal testing shows that your baby has a genetic concern or a health issue

Some health issues can also begin during pregnancy, such as:

  • Gestational diabetes
  • Preeclampsia
  • Placenta Previa
  • Incompetent cervix
  • An Rh incompatibility

Tips to manage high-risk pregnancy

Here’s what you can do to manage and stay as healthy as possible during a high-risk pregnancy:

  1. Take Folic Acid

Folic acid helps prevent low birth weight and congenital disabilities such as spina bifida which can cause a high-risk pregnancy and life-long issues for your child. Folic acid may also help reduce the risk of other conditions such as gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, and heart disease. Start taking folic acid before you get pregnant and continue it throughout your pregnancy.

  1. Never miss your Doctor’s appointment

High-risk pregnancies need more monitoring, care, and treatment than a pregnancy that isn’t high risk. Make sure you get to all your prenatal testing and checkups.

  1. Take Care of your Body

During high risk pregnancy make sure you eat well and drink plenty of fluids. If you are on a special diet, see a nutritionist to get the right nutrition for your pregnancy. Ensure you take your prenatal vitamins and any other supplements that you may need.

Learning that your pregnancy is high-risk can be stressful. See our doctors at KIMS Cuddles who are experts at handling high-risk pregnancies.

*Information shared here is for general purpose Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.

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