High health risk for the pregnancy person and the unborn baby. High risk in pregnancy are certain to happen with health conditions or the age. To reduce the chance of complications close monitoring is required.
What is High-risk Pregnancy ?
Pregnancy comes with certain risks. But the “high-risk” pregnancy carries increased risk for both pregnant women and unborn babies. Women with high-risk pregnancy need extra care before, during and after giving birth, which reduces the possibility of complications. Having a high-risk pregnancy doesn’t mean there are some problems with your unborn baby.
What Causes high-risk Pregnancy ?
There are various factors :
- Pre-existing health conditions
- Pregnancy related health conditions
- Lifestyle factors like smoking, drug addiction, alcohol abuse or many other conditions
- Age : over 35 or under 17 when pregnant
Other Common Medical Risk Factors for high-risk pregnancy
Women with preexisting medical conditions have increased health risk during pregnancy. These conditions include :
- Covid 19
- High Blood Pressure
- Kidney Disease
- Low Body Weight (BMI less than 18.5)
- Mental Health disorders, such as depression.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Blood Clotting Disorders
Pregnancy related health conditions that pose risk to women and unborn baby
- Genetic or any birth defect in unborn baby
- Poor Growth in unborn baby
- Gestational Diabetes
- Multiple Gestation – Pregnancy with more than one baby
- Preeclampsia and eclampsia
- Complications in previous pregnancies like previous preterm labor or birth.
Signs and Symptoms of high-risk pregnancy
If you experience any of the following symptoms during pregnancy talk to your doctor, whether or not your pregnancy is considered high-risk or not.
- If the abdominal pain doesn’t go away
- Chest pain
- Extreme Fatigue
- Unborn Baby movements stopping or slowing
- Heart Palpitations
- Nausea & Vomiting but worse than normal morning sickness
- Severe headache that won’t go away or will get worse.
- Swelling or Redness
- Trouble Breathing
- Vaginal Bleeding or Discharge
What age is considered a high-risk pregnancy ?
Pregnancies conceived after the age of 35 are considered to be high-risked. According to doctors, they are more likely to have complications than younger people.
Pregnancies conceived under the age of 17 are also considered high-risk considering following reasons
- Less likely to get prenatal care
- Might have premature labor
- Might or unaware they have sexually transmitted diseases and infections
The potential complications of high-risk pregnancy ?
High-risk pregnancy might be life-threatening for both women and unborn babies. Some of the complication can included
- Pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure from pregnancy)
- Eclampsia (seizure from pregnancy)
- Preterm delivery
- Cesarean Delivery (c-section)
- Excessive bleeding during labor
- Low or high birth weight
- Birth Defect
- Problems with your baby’s brain development
- Still birth
Diagnosis for High-risk Pregnancy
Getting prenatal care is critical. It is the best way to detect or diagnose a high-risk pregnancy. Always tell your doctor about your health history and your past pregnancies or miscarrriage. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, you may need special monitoring throughout your pregnancy.
Test that will help you to monitor your health and the health of your unborn baby.
- Blood & urine Testing – it checks for genetic conditions or certain birth defects in your baby.
- Ultrasonography – the sound waves create image of baby in the womb that screens for birth defects
- Biophysical Profile – Monitors your unborn baby ensuring it gets enough oxygen.
How to Manage high-risk Pregnancy ?
Managing high-risk pregnancy completely depends on certain factors. Your care plan may include
- Closer follow-up with your obstetrician.
- Consult your maternal fetal medicine specialist.
- Ultrasounds and closer fetal evaluation.
- Blood Pressure monitoring
- Careful monitoring of medications used to manage the pre-existing conditions .
If your baby is in danger, your healthcare provider will suggest labor induction or C-section.
How to prevent high-risk pregnancy ?
- Avoid drugs and alcohol.
- Consult your doctor to identify potential health risks before getting pregnant.
- Maintain health body weight before pregnancy.
- Managing & taking medicine for any pre-existing health condition you may have.
- Quitting Smoking.
- Planning pregnancy between the age of 20 & 34.
- Practicing safe sex.
It’s possible for pregnancy-related complications to occur up to six weeks after a pregnancy ends. Pay close attention to your health. Alert your doctor right away if you notice anything abnormal.
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