A high-risk pregnancy can pose challenges before, during, and even after delivery. That is why expectant mothers with high risk pregnancies require special and close monitoring throughout the maternity period. It’s important to know and understand the causes of the risks and find ways to ensure the health of the baby and the mother.
Risk Factors for High-Risk Pregnancy
Sometimes, high-risk pregnancy is the effect of a medical condition present even before the pregnancy. In other cases, it is the result of a condition developed either by the baby or the mother during the conception. Specific factors that can heighten high-risk pregnancy include:
Mothers aging 35 and up are more prone to high-risk pregnancy as their health is no longer in their prime to ensure healthy growth of the baby. Hence it is important to find a good gynae in Singapore to reduce the likelihood of problematic issues. Likewise, women aging 20 years old and below are also at risk for developing pregnancy complications, such as premature delivery, and development of placenta previa, contract toxaemia, and pregnancy-induced hypertension, due to underdeveloped reproductive organs and nutritional deficiencies.
• Medical history
A prior caesarean section, premature delivery, or low birth weight can increase chances of high-risk pregnancy. Other risk factors include genetic conditions, death of a baby shortly after birth, and history of pregnancy loss.
• Multiple Birth
Multiple birth pregnancies are prone to complications because there’s more than one baby that’s growing in the womb. Due to very limited space and the strain that the fetuses put on the mother, the babies are more likely to arrive earlier than expected. Many complications, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, are common in these pregnancies as well.
• Underlying Health Conditions
Chronic health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and epilepsy, increase pregnancy risks. Likewise, a blood condition like anemia, an existing mental health condition, and an infection can increase possibilities of having high-risk pregnancy.
• Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Before planning on getting pregnant, submit yourself first for gynaecological tests and STI screenings. A woman diagnosed with STI is likely to transmit the infection to her baby. Depending on the type of infection, a baby born by a mother with STI is at greater risk for conjunctivitis, low birth weight, neonatal sepsis (infection in the blood stream), pneumonia, neurological damage, deafness, blindness, chronic liver disease, and acute hepatitis.
Babies born from overweight women are more likely to have some defects, such as heart problems, spina bifida, cleft palate, and hydrocephaly—same thing with underweight mothers. Women who are no more than 100 pounds are likely to give birth prematurely or deliver an underweight child.
Steps for Healthy Pregnancy
Whether you know you’re prone to high-risk pregnancy or you simply want to be safe, stick to these basics to ensure you and your baby’s health.
• Schedule a Pre-Pregnancy Care
If you’re planning to have a baby soon, consult a doctor that specializes in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology ahead of time. This professional can give you some advice and prescriptions for reaching healthier weight before your conceive. If you have existing medical condition, your doctor may have to adjust your treatment to prepare your body for pregnancy. She might also discuss with you the risk of becoming pregnant with a genetic condition.
• Have Regular Prenatal Check-Up
Prenatal check-ups help your doctor monitor you and your baby’s health. Depending on your case, you might be referred to a paediatrics, genetics, or maternal-fetal medicine specialist. Whatever your doctor advices, just be sure to follow them—and never skip a scheduled check-up.
• Gain Weight Wisely
Again, a visit to a gynaecologist will help you achieve the ideal weight easily and healthily. Gaining just the right amount of weight supports your baby’s growth and development—and makes it easier for you to shed the extra pounds after giving birth. Work with your doctor to know what’s best for you.
• Eat Healthily
During pregnancy, your body requires more calcium, folic acid, iron, and other essential nutrients. Your health care provider may recommend taking a prenatal vitamin supplement daily to fill in the gaps. Also, consult your health care provider for any special nutritional needs especially if you have health conditions like diabetes or hypertension.
• Steer Clear From Risky Substances
Smoking is off limits, as well as drinking alcohol and taking illegal drugs. As for prescribed drugs, get your doctor’s approval before you stop—or start—taking medications or supplements.
Specific Symptoms for High-Risk Pregnancy
A gynae can enlighten you on how to manage medical conditions that you might experience during your pregnancy and how your health can affect your labour. Discuss your doctor the signs and symptoms to expect, such as:
• Frequent contractions—tightening sensation in the tummy area
• Watery discharge—a trickle or a gush
• Decreased fetal activity
• Persistent headaches
• Vaginal bleeding
• Pain with urination
• Changes in vision
Also, don’t forget to ask how severe a symptom should be and which symptoms should prompt you to run to the hospital and seek emergency care. Depending on your situation, your doctor may recommend running some special prenatal screenings on you, such as chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis.
High-risk pregnancies can be unstable and can be a threat for the health of both the mother and the baby. However, with the right knowledge and proper care, you can certainly promote healthy pregnancy even with such risky situations.