Whether this is your first pregnancy or you have had many successful births, each pregnancy is a unique and exciting experience. In many cases, a pregnancy is deemed high risk by a woman's obstetrician, which can be confusing and a little scary, if you do not understand what makes a pregnancy high risk. Here are the answers to a few questions you might have about high-risk pregnancies.
What Is Considered a High-Risk Pregnancy?
For a doctor to consider a pregnancy high risk, one or several factors or conditions must be present. Here are a few of the conditions or situations that would make a woman's pregnancy classified as high risk:
- Certain age groups. A woman's age can impact the health of the pregnancy, which can make the risk of complications greater.
- History of certain illnesses. If a woman is diagnosed with certain illnesses or conditions before or during the pregnancy, including diabetes, they might be considered at high risk.
- A multiple pregnancy. Twins, triplets, or multiple babies will classify a pregnancy as high risk.
- Certain lifestyle choices. Women who are overweight, underweight, smoke, or have a history of drug use or alcohol abuse are considered high risk.
If you have had a high-risk pregnancy in the past, a doctor might automatically consider the next pregnancy high risk, as well.
What Special Care Will Someone Receive During a High-Risk Pregnancy?
A pregnancy that is considered high risk does not necessarily mean the expectant mother will need to have a battery of tests or remain on bed rest throughout the entire pregnancy. High risk means that extra care and caution are taken and often the pregnant woman will require additional doctor visits and a few extra tests.
For example, a woman with a high-risk pregnancy will often require additional ultrasounds, additional visits with her obstetrician, and in some cases, additional genetic testing. The pregnancy will also be monitored more closely.
How Can a Woman with a High-Risk Pregnancy Care For Themselves?
If you are considered a high-risk pregnancy, there are several ways you can protect your health and the health of your baby. For example, make sure to take your doctor's prescribed prenatal vitamins, get plenty of rest, and eat healthier foods. You may be required to greatly limit your activity or even take a leave of absence from your job, especially as the pregnancy reaches the end.
If you are considering getting pregnant before and had a high-risk pregnancy or if you were diagnosed with a high-risk pregnancy, there are several things you and your doctor can do together to help protect your baby's health.
For more information, contact a company like Ob-Gyne Associates of Libertyville.