Pregnancy is an exciting time in any woman’s life because a new life is being prepared to enter the world. Given this, any pregnancy requires careful monitoring, but high-risk pregnancies require more diligent care and precautions.
Regardless of whether you are expecting your first, second, or third child, your doctor may advise you that you are in a high-risk pregnancy at any time. While it sounds alarming, you don’t have to panic just yet. A high-risk pregnancy does not guarantee there will be complications or defects with your child.
A high-risk pregnancy can encompass a wide range of medical conditions. Some of these conditions may arise even before your pregnancy, while others can occur during your pregnancy. It does not necessarily mean that you will experience a more difficult pregnancy or childbirth. However, it does mean that you and your baby may be more prone to health problems throughout the pregnancy, labor, or after childbirth. Depending on your specific condition, this entails more consultations, special examinations, and closer monitoring during your pregnancy. You may also be recommended to consult with a maternal-fetal specialist in this situation.
A high-risk pregnancy can occur due to several reasons. Some of the most common risk factors are obesity, multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets, or more), diabetes, pre-eclampsia, hypertension, STDs, and getting pregnant after a certain age.
A maternal-fetal specialist has extra training to handle medical complications related to pregnancy. Given a high-risk pregnancy, meeting with this type of specialist can help you plan a healthy pregnancy. Additionally, a maternal-fetal specialist can also help in identifying possible reasons for complications as well as offer solutions to them.
A high-risk pregnancy may largely be brought on by pre-existing medical conditions. Worse, it can even lead to more severe medical conditions as you go along your pregnancy. That is why it’s important to keep track of your health. Your doctor may give you specific instructions to follow, depending on your condition. Moreover, this also means being smart about weight gain, your diet, and of course, avoiding vices or unhealthy habits at all costs.
Aside from your regular prenatal check-ups, high-risk pregnancies may require more visits to your doctor. A pregnancy involving multiple babies may lead to complications with their development. Likewise, diabetes and other medical conditions may pose additional risks. Your doctor will require you to visit for check-ups and scans to detect any possible disabilities more often than with a non-high-risk pregnancy.
Other than your regular prenatal screening tests, your doctor may also recommend some supplementary tests to ensure you’re in optimal health. Some of these may include:
- Targeted ultrasound. This type of test produces more detailed images of the fetus and allows the doctor to see if there are any defects or abnormal developments.
- Cervical length ultrasound. During one of your prenatal exams, your doctor may measure your cervical length. This is done to determine whether or not you are risk of pre-term labor.
- Amniocentesis. In this test, a small amount of fluid surrounding your baby, in the amniotic sac, is taken and tested for possible genetic defects or abnormalities.
- Laboratory exams. Aside from your baby’s health, your doctor may also schedule UTI or STD exams if deemed necessary.
Having a high-risk pregnancy can seem daunting, but it shouldn’t cause any mother to panic and experience anxiety. Instead, you should consult with a specialist to advise you regarding proper healthcare to ensure you and your baby’s health is handled in the best way possible.
At University OB/GYN Associates, our trusted providers are experts in handling pregnancy complications, including high-risk pregnancies.
If you wish to request an appointment with us, give us a call at (315) 464-5162. We look forward to helping make your pregnancy a wonderful experience for you!