Calm down and take a deep breath, because, despite the negativity suggested by the term “high-risk pregnancy”, we assure you that there is no reason to panic. The term “high-risk” doesn’t actually mean that you have to face problems during pregnancy. As a matter of fact most women with high-risk pregnancies have brought to the world healthy babies and didn’t have to deal with any problem or complication whatsoever.
Having a high-risk pregnancy means simply, that you suffer from a specific health condition or may develop a specific health condition that increases your probability of facing complications during pregnancy or upon delivery. And because of this critical condition, you will need extra attention and care.
So calm down and relax, because you’re going to get a special attention and you’re going to have a healthy pregnancy. Your doctor will eventually tell you the reasons behind his diagnostic of your case as being high-risk. His reasons are more likely related to one of the following risk factors.
It is to be noted that some of these factors have to do with a woman’s physical and social characteristics before conception, the health disorders she’s suffering from and the troubles she had in prior pregnancies. And some others may develop throughout pregnancy or during labor and delivery:
Factors that can preexist before conception:
- Being 35 years old or more/ not exceeding 15 years of age
- Being underweight or overweight
- Chronic hypertension
- Blood disorders
- Autoimmune diseases
- Kidney problems
- Having had fertility problems
- Having multiple pregnancy
- Smoking and unhealthy dietary habits
- Defects of the reproductive system , especially the uterus and the cervix (like double uterus and cervical incompetence)
- Being short, as shortness may affect the size of the pelvis and make it difficult for the baby to pass through the pelvis and the uterus (or the so-called birth canal)
- Having had problems and complications with past pregnancies, such as miscarriage, late delivery (after week 42), cesarean delivery, premature labor, excessive amniotic fluid in the womb, having had a baby with low birth weight or a baby with high birth weight or a baby with congenital abnormalities, etc.
Factors that can develop during pregnancy:
- Preeclampsia (It’s the kind of high blood pressure that can affect the liver, the brain and the kidneys of the expecting mother)
- Gestational diabetes (It’s the type of diabetes that develops throughout pregnancy)
- Premature labor (or having labor before week 37 of the pregnancy)
- Placenta Previa (It’s when the placenta separates from the uterus lining and covers either partially or completely the cervix, causing a bleeding or early delivery)
Since your doctor characterizes your pregnancy as high-risk, ask him about the factors or conditions that have put you in this category and if you should consult a specialist in those conditions, such as a gynecologist specialized in endocrinology if you have diabetes, since the more knowledgeable your doctor and health care providers are of your case, the better chance you have of avoiding pregnancy complications.
Regardless of your choice concerning the medical care role in your pregnancy, we recommend that you take extra good care of yourself during this period, not miss any of the medical exams and tests that can closely observe your health, your safety and your baby and follow these important tips:
- Follow a healthy balanced diet that includes protein, milk and dairy products, fruits and vegetables, and ask the doctor about any necessary adjustment for that matter.
- Make sure you take the medications or vitamins or iron supplements prescribed by the doctor and don’t try to make use of any medicine without medical consultation.
- Take Folic acid on a daily basis, as this type of vitamin B can protect your baby from having congenital abnormalities.
- Practice the physical activities or sports exercises described by your doctor.
- Stop smoking and avoid being in presence of smokers.
- Stay away from people suffering from cold and any other type of infection.
- Observe your baby’s movements in the womb on a daily basis.
And like any other pregnant woman, beware of any unusual symptoms you may face and can be sign of a problem. We’re not saying that you will necessarily have a problem, but you better stay alert and do not hesitate to contact your doctor if you lost conscious or had a severe bleeding or felt an acute pain in the abdomen or had a fever or if your baby stopped moving, etc.
So follow your doctor’s instructions, try to relax and rest assured that good prenatal care and medical advances now-a-days will guarantee you a healthy pregnancy, a safe delivery and a baby full of life!
Read More: Pregnancy Changes: Trimester By Trimester
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