Pregnancies can be difficult, but high-risk pregnancies pose unique challenges for both mom and child. Knowing the warning signs of a high-risk pregnancy is important to take the right precautions as your baby grows.
Every woman handles the news of a high-risk pregnancy differently. Some might be shocked by their doctor’s suggestion that they are experiencing riskier pregnancies than they first thought. On the other hand, others are relieved by knowing they know all of their options and what to expect.
Nevertheless, here are some reasons your pregnancy may be high-risk.
1. Lifestyle Choices
Alcohol consumption, smoking, and taking drugs during pregnancy can all impact a baby’s health. These choices can lead to premature birth and can also cause congenital disabilities.
For example, smoking and drinking alcohol while pregnant can lead to a baby who is small for their gestational age. Reducing your risk of these harmful habits while pregnant gives your unborn child the greatest chance of good health.
2. Pre-Existing Health Conditions
If you have been diagnosed with a health condition or have recently experienced symptoms, your pregnancy will likely be considered high-risk by your doctor. For example, if you have a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, or other cardiovascular conditions before you get pregnant. Your doctor will check your blood pressure and help you take additional measurements.
3. Advanced Maternal Age
Another reason a pregnancy could be considered high-risk is the mother’s age. Your pregnancy may be high-risk if you are over 35 years old and have given birth to five or more children. Also, your next baby may be considered high risk if you have had two normal pregnancies.
Some possible risks for older pregnant women include high blood pressure and blood clotting issues. If you are over 35 years old, it’s important to ask your doctor what they recommend you can do to prevent problems.
Teen pregnancy can also be considered high-risk, with teenagers twice as likely to have a low birth weight or an infant living in the NICU. Additionally, teen pregnancy is associated with a higher risk of premature rupture of the membranes (PROM), preterm labor, and placental abruption. Teens might also be unaware of the symptoms of sexually transmitted infections. This makes it important for teens to commit to their scheduled prenatal appointments.
4. History of Pregnancy Complications
Your pregnancy could be categorized as high-risk if you have had a previous pregnancy that ended in miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature birth. If your baby was born with low birth weight or was underweight, that is also considered a problem and may require monitoring during your next pregnancy.
Some parents decide to seek the help of experts during their next pregnancy. This allows them to focus on their health while getting assistance in caring for the growing fetus. You can also consider going for a private ultrasound in London or in your local area to help determine your baby’s condition and monitor your pregnancy.
5. Multiple Pregnancy
Some women with multiple pregnancies are usually identified as high-risk during their pregnancy. Pregnant women with multiples will be monitored more closely, and their babies will more likely be delivered via cesarean for their safety. Doctors will monitor moms who carry twins or more every two weeks after 28 weeks to ensure that the babies are doing well and have enough amniotic fluid. Taking care of yourself to reduce your risk of multiple fetuses improves your overall health and your baby’s.
6. Family History of Preterm Birth
If you have a family history of premature birth, your doctor may consider the high pregnancy risk based on that information. This does not mean every pregnancy after you get pregnant will be high risk, but the baby could be at higher risk for premature birth than normal mothers.
For this reason, discussing with your doctor if you have a family history of preterm birth is essential. They may recommend regular prenatal testing to track the baby’s development and reduce the risk of premature birth. If discovered earlier, genetic disorders may be easier to treat and reduce the risk of preterm birth.
These are all reasons your pregnancy may be considered high-risk. However, these are not the only reasons. Understanding the warning signs of a high-risk pregnancy is important, and knowing what to expect is also important.
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