High health risk for the pregnancy person and the unborn baby. High-risk pregnancies 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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