For most women, the process of having a baby appears quite natural. They conceive spontaneously, go through nine months smoothly with the baby growing normally, and experience labor near their expected due date, go through a routine delivery and bring their baby back home.
However, not all women are equally lucky and not all pregnancies advance so smoothly. There are a number of women who experience what is known as ‘high risk pregnancy’.
Pregnancy is known to fall under ‘high-risk’ category when there are certain complications which can have a negative effect on the baby, the mother, or both. This kind of pregnancy requires proper management with the help of a specialist to ensure that both the baby and the mother remain healthy through the term of the pregnancy.
Risk Factors Involved In High-Risk Pregnancy
Some of the reasons due to which a pregnancy may fall under the high risk category include:
The age of the mother-to-be is one of the biggest risk factors when it comes to high risk pregnancies. Women under the age of 17 years or more than 35 years old are at a much higher risk of complications in comparison to others. The risk of genetic defects and miscarriages includes even further after the age of 40.
Preexisting Medical Conditions
Conditions like high blood pressure, kidney problems, heart problems, breathing difficulties, diabetes, STDs, chronic infections like HIV, or autoimmune disorders can put mothers and babies at risk. History of miscarriages, family history of genetic diseases, or previous pregnancy related problems are also considered to be risk factors for pregnancies.
Medical Conditions During Pregnancy
Even a woman who want healthy before pregnancy can develop health conditions during pregnancy, which can have a negative effect on the baby. Some examples of this kind of pregnancy related issues include:
This is a kind of diabetes which developing during the course of the pregnancy. Women suffering from this disorder need to maintain a strict diet plan given by their healthcare provider if they want to have a healthy pregnancy.
This conditions includes urinary protein, high blood pressure, and swelling, which can sometimes even be fatal for the baby or the mother, if not treated on time.
Carrying twins, triplets or more than one baby puts the pregnancy in the high-risk category. Multiple births increases the chances of gestational diabetes, premature labor, and pregnancy related high BP.
This is the condition where the placenta covers up the entire cervix and leads to bleeding. This condition calls for a cesarean delivery to reduce the risk to the baby and the mother.
Managing High-Risk Pregnancies
Even if you are not suffering from any health problems, it is a good idea to get a preconception checkup done to ensure that you are in the prime of your health before you become pregnant. Doctors recommend certain steps that you can take to ensure a healthy conception. These include:
• Getting all required immunizations on time.
• Taking 400 micrograms of folic acid, before as well as during the course of the pregnancy.
• Giving up alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs completely.
• Exercising regularly, unless advised otherwise.
• Visit doctor regularly.
In case you pregnancy is diagnosed as high risk, it is important to visit a perinatologist, who is an obstetrician specializing in high-risk pregnancies. He / she will work in conjuncture with your healthcare professional to ensure that you have the best possible outcome from your pregnancy.
Photo Credit: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/adult/pregnancy_and_childbirth/complications_of_multiple_pregnancy_85,P08021/