what is high risk pregnancy

High Risk Pregnancy | Dr. Monika Agrawal

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 :

  1. Pre-existing health conditions 
  2. Pregnancy related health conditions 
  3. Lifestyle factors like smoking, drug addiction, alcohol abuse or many other conditions
  4. 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 
  • Diabetes
  • Fibroids 
  • High Blood Pressure 
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Kidney Disease
  • Low Body Weight (BMI less than 18.5)
  • Mental Health disorders, such as depression.
  • Obesity
  • 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
  • Dizziness
  • 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 

  • Anemic 
  • 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 
  • Miscarriage 
  • 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. 

Call us on : 8104507870 / 022 – 28377961 or visit us at : Her care clinic, in Vismit eyecare and polyclinic, Opp Amar juice centre, above greater bank, Silver Astra blding, C wing, J B Nagar Rd, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400059

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