Pregnancy and birth are natural processes. Most pregnancies are low risk – healthy mom,healthy baby, no complications . When your not underweight or overweight, no chronic health issues, and age less than 35years and if you are having just one baby – then both you and baby are more 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 high-risk pregnancy that requires additional care and specific assistance.
So what is high risk pregnancy?
High risk means that you or your baby’s life could be threatened by complications
It can be the result of a medical condition present before pregnancy. or, a medical condition that develops during pregnancy which could cause problems for either mom or baby or your carrying more than one baby called multiple pregnancy or the baby has some health issue. While all pregnancies can be challenging, high risk pregnancies can possess potential threat over 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 risk is mainly attributable to the increase in the average age of pregnant women. Pregnancy risks are higher for mothers age 35 and older.
Smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs can put a pregnancy at risk.
A prior C-section, 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 also can 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. Complications in the course of pregnancy may occur as hypertension, diabetes, or infectious diseases, which often lead to the failure of 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 attention 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 hospital setting, under the guidance of a high risk pregnancy doctor.