High-Risk Pregnancy Management
Pregnancy and birth are natural processes. Most pregnancies are low risk – healthy mom,healthy baby, no complications . When your not underweight or overweight, with no chronic health issues, age less than 35 years and if you are having just one baby in this pregnancy– then both you and your baby are most likely to go through a safe pregnancy and birth. Today, 88% of pregnancies have a physiological course which needs just basic care, while 12% of cases are of the higher-risk category that requires additional care.
So what is high risk pregnancy?
High risk means that you or your baby’s life could be at a risk of complications.
It can be the result of a medical condition present before pregnancy or a medical condition that develops during pregnancy. For example, if you are carrying more than one baby it is called a multiple pregnancy or if the baby has some developmental issues either of you can be at risk. While all pregnancies can be challenging, high risk pregnancies can possess significant challenges to the health of both the mother and the fetus.
What are the risk factors ?
There are various risk factors for pregnancy. Specific factors that might contribute to a high-risk pregnancy include:
Advanced Maternal Age
Surveys have revealed that in the last few years much risk is attributable to the increase in the average age of women who get pregnant . Pregnancy risks are higher for mothers age 35 and older.
Tobacco use including smoking, alcohol consumption and drug abuse could put a pregnancy at risk.
A prior C-section, a previous low birth weight baby or preterm birth — birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy — might increase the risk in subsequent pregnancies. Other risk factors include a family history of genetic conditions, a history of pregnancy loss or the death of a baby shortly after birth.
Chronic conditions — such as diabetes, high blood pressure and epilepsy — increase pregnancy risks. A blood condition, such as anemia, an infection or an underlying mental health condition can also increase pregnancy risks.
Various complications that develop during pregnancy pose risks, such as problems with the
- uterus, cervix or placenta.
- Other concerns might include too much amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios) or low amniotic fluid (oligohydramnios).
- Restricted fetal growth, or
- Rh (rhesus) sensitization — a potentially serious condition that can occur when your blood group is Rh negative and your baby’s blood group is Rh positive.
- diabetes, or
- infectious diseases
- Multiple Pregnancy
Pregnancy risks are higher for women carrying twins or higher order multiples.
Risk factors for pregnancy also involve fears and anxieties that make the gestation period more stressful.
Steps to be taken to go through a healthy pregnancy
High risk pregnancies require more advanced level of pregnancy consultation and monitoring as they carry huge risk of complications and problems for a baby’s health at the time of birth and beyond. Women with high risk pregnancies will have to be counseled by a high risk pregnancy specialist to be specifically attentive toward their health, have a nutritious diet, maintain proper amount of weight and avoid the consumption of any risky substances or medications. Regular prenatal visits, regular maternal and fetal screening as well as additional prenatal tests are usually recommended to further assess the health and development of the baby. Delivery of a high risk pregnancy is better to take place in a well equipped hospital setting, under the guidance of a good obstetrician.