High-Risk Pregnancy | Symptoms & Diagnosis
What is a high-risk pregnancy?
While pregnancy can be a blissful experience, it also comes with certain risks and complications. A pregnancy that might cause complications or that threatens the life of either the mother, child, or both is attributed towards what is known to be a “ high-risk pregnancy”.
Some pregnancies become high-risk as they develop, while some women are predisposed to difficulties for a variety of reasons even before they get pregnant. Many women benefit from early and consistent prenatal care, which helps them have a healthy pregnancy and birthing process.
Trained medical specialists are usually required to diagnose and treat such a case, as it involves a multitude of aspects that can go terribly wrong and lead to the loss of life.
Some signs that indicate a high-risk pregnancy are:
- Obstetric history like abortion
- Abdominal ache
- Vaginal bleeding
- Blurred vision
- Decreased fetal activity
- Painful urination
THE RISKS INVOLVED IN HIGH-RISK PREGNANCY
High-risk pregnancy can also be the result of a medical condition diagnosed before pregnancy. A pregnancy might be classified as high-risk for a variety of reasons. Among the most common are:
- Unhealthy Lifestyle
Indulging in excessive smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug abuse can cause significant distress to the mother and child during pregnancy. Health problems, low birth weight, preterm birth and SIDS are common outcomes of substance abuse.
- Maternal health issues
Diabetes, uncontrolled asthma, heart disorders, high blood pressure and obesity can result in pregnancy risks if necessary medication and exercise is not administered in time.
- Pregnancy complications
A lot of complications can occur during pregnancy, which in turn, can trigger risks – like an abnormal placenta position, fetal growth restriction, low birth weight, breech position, etc.
- History of pregnancy
A history with disorders that include hypertension and preeclampsia during pregnancy for the first time can be considered high-risk when getting pregnant for a second or third time.
PREVENTIONS FOR HIGH-RISK PREGNANCY
In order to prevent a high-risk pregnancy, try and follow the steps below as they might prove to be helpful:
- Fix an appointment
If becoming pregnant is a plan, ensure you consult a physician. The doctor will suggest you to take a prenatal vitamin with folic acid to help you get to a healthy weight. Your treatment may even change if a certain medical condition is coming in the way, so it prepares you for pregnancy.
- Exercise healthy living
Mental and physical health is of utmost priority when you want to avoid unnecessary risks and complications during pregnancy. Being overweight or underweight can cause issues like preeclampsia, high BP, and can even result in stillbirths.
Even being in stressful situations can cause illicit stress on fetal development. Listening to soothing music and practicing safe exercises during pregnancy can result in a favorable birthing experience.
- Avoid ‘bad habits’
Stop smoking, doing drugs, avoid excess alcohol and always consume medicines that are prescribed by a doctor, not the ones bought over-the-counter.
- Prenatal care
A frequent prenatal visit can help keep a check on your/baby’s health. Early prenatal care reduces the risks of an unhealthy pregnancy by ensuring that necessary nutrition is readily available for the child and mother.
By following a safe diet and constant activity, suggested by your doctor, problems during pregnancy can be avoided. It’s important to avoid unnecessary radiation , and control conditions (if any) like diabetes and blood pressure in order to help keep complications away.
- Specialized Ultrasound
This fetal ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves, producing images of the fetus which can help assess any congenital abnormalities in the early stages.
- Prenatal cell-free DNA screening
In this test, DNA is extracted from the fetus and the mother and is sent for screening to detect chromosome issues.
- Lab testing
Your urinary tract will be tested for investigation of infections and you could possibly be sent in for screening, for STDs like HIV and syphilis.
- Cervical length ultrasound
An ultrasound may be used to measure the length of the cervix to see if there is a risk of preterm labor.
- Biophysical profile
It is a prenatal ultrasound that is used to monitor the baby’s health.
A high-risk pregnancy can put a woman through a lot of stress, physically and emotionally. Consulting a reliable and trusted healthcare professional can help you attain a pleasant experience!