My Blog

Posts for tag: High-risk

By For Women Healthcare
November 22, 2019
Category: OBGYN
Tags: Pregnancy   High-risk  

If you have been told by your OBGYN that you are a high-risk pregnancy it’s natural to have questions. You may want to know if there are any lifestyle changes you’ll need to make or how often you’ll need to visit your obstetrician for routine checkups throughout your pregnancy. The goal of your OBGYN is to provide the care you and your baby need for a healthy pregnancy and delivery, so don’t be afraid to ask any and all questions that you may have.

What makes a pregnancy high risk?

A high-risk pregnancy may be the result of certain factors that already existed before your pregnancy or the result of a medical condition that occurs during the course of your pregnancy. Here are some factors that can cause a high-risk pregnancy:

Advanced maternal age: pregnancy complications are higher for women who are over 35 years old, as well as women under 17 years old

Lifestyle factors: smoking, alcohol, and using drugs can also affect pregnancy

Medical history: women who have chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease are also more likely to experience other health problems during the pregnancy (talk with your OBGYN about any pre-existing health problems you have)

Multiple births: there is a higher chance for pregnancy risks when a woman is carrying two or more babies at a time

If I have a high-risk pregnancy what can I do?

The most important thing you can do to ensure a healthy, risk-free pregnancy is to make sure that you have an obstetrician that you trust. It’s very important that you keep up with routine checkups and exams. Women who have high-risk pregnancies may need to visit their OBGYN more regularly. In some instances, you may be referred to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist or other physicians.

Along with your routine checkups your OBGYN may also recommend various screening tests along with the standard prenatal screening tests. Some of these tests include specialized ultrasounds, amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling (CVS), cordocentesis, and lab testing.

Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and following the necessary steps to protect against infections can also go a long way to maintaining a healthy, risk-free pregnancy. If you find yourself dealing with high levels of stress this is something to discuss with your doctor to find the most effective strategies for reducing stress.

Whether you just found out you are pregnant or you are looking for an OBGYN to provide you with preconception counseling before getting pregnant, you want a doctor who puts your needs first. While a high-risk pregnancy can feel overwhelming at first your obstetrician will help guide you throughout the course of your pregnancy to make sure you get the care you deserve.

High-risk pregnancies occur when your health or that of your baby can be affected during the pregnancy or delivery. Are you concerned your pregnancy may be high-risk? Take a look at a few factors that can increase your risk.

 

Age

 

If you're under age 17 or over 35, your pregnancy will be considered high risk, due to the increased likelihood of complications.

 

Preeclampsia

 

Preeclampsia, also called toxemia, occurs when you develop high blood pressure and a high level of protein in your urine. The condition can be dangerous for both you and your baby and usually develops after the 20th week of pregnancy. It can cause swelling in the hands, legs, and feet.

 

Gestational diabetes

 

This form of diabetes develops around the 24th week of pregnancy and is usually detected during a routine screening. The problem occurs when your body can't use glucose efficiently. In most cases, you'll no longer have diabetes after your baby is born.

 

Multiple pregnancy

 

Complications, gestational diabetes, and premature labor are more likely if you're carrying more than one baby.

 

Fetal issues

 

Your pregnancy will be considered high-risk if there's a developmental or genetic problem with your baby, or if a heart, lung or kidney problem is spotted during an ultrasound

 

Placenta previa

 

Placenta previa occurs when the placenta partially or completely covers the cervix. If you have the condition, you may experience severe bleeding during your pregnancy. Because severe bleeding can also occur during birth, you may need a Cesarean section, particularly if the placenta completely covers the cervix. Bed rest is usually recommended for women who have placenta previa.

 

Medical conditions

 

You or your baby may be more likely to experience complications if you have high blood pressure, cancer, epilepsy, asthma, diabetes, HIV or AIDS, lung disease, autoimmune disorders, kidney or heart problems, or sexually transmitted diseases.

 

Multiple miscarriages

 

Women who have had three or more miscarriages can benefit from more intense monitoring during pregnancy.

 

Most high-risk pregnancies have happy endings, thanks to the special care women receive during the pregnancies. If you have an issue that could raise your risk, it's important to talk to your ob/gyn about your concerns as soon as you become pregnant or notice a problem.