Becoming a mother is a beautiful period of a woman’s life, but it surely is nerve-racking. Normally, pregnancy is low-risk and require central monitoring and routine checkups. But a pregnancy became high-risk when it causes potential complications to both mother and baby or one of them. To avoid such critical circumstances, women must be aware of risk factors and warning signs of high-risk pregnancy and try to seek professional consultation before entering in this phase.
Risk Factors for High-Risk Pregnancy
The high-risk obstetricians at EMOG recommend that keeping your baby safe, healthy and sound while maintaining your health, is the core rule of completing a successful pregnancy and childbirth. For that, you must know, beforehand, what can cause complications and difficulties. Here is a list of some factors that can disrupt healthy pregnancy.
Maternal age is a highly crucial factor in determining the overall development of gestation. As, if the mother is too young as in her teens or as old as in her late 30’s, in both cases pregnancy can be critical for varying reasons.
The probability of developing high blood pressure or anaemic condition is greater for pregnant teens, as they lack regular availability of much needed healthy RBCs (red blood cells). Mother and baby are connected through the placenta and umbilical cord, which serves as the pipeline to provide oxygen and essential nutrients to the baby assisted by the streamline flow of blood. Maintenance of blood pressure is one of the most vital factors in keeping this flow steady. Fluctuation in blood pressure can cause oxygen deprivation, can injure mother’s kidneys, and lead to delivery via C-section (delivery through a surgical incision).
On the other hand, mothers who are 35 or older, having their first pregnancy, have elevated risks of
- Complications in delivery, especially excessive blood loss during labour
- Extended work time of more than 20 hours
- Cesarean/ C-section delivery
- The infant may suffer from the genetic disorder, ex. Down syndrome
Mothers with BMI (body mass index) 30 or more have increased chances of high-risk pregnancy, as they are already in unhealthy medical condition. Other than hypertension and diabetes, there is an amplified risk of some fetal abnormalities to the new born if the mother is obese. Obesity makes both pregnancy and childbirth difficult for an obese woman.
On the other hand, if the mother is underweight to maintain her health, surely she won’t be able to uphold a healthy growing fetus. So, a healthy woman, with an appropriate BMI, does not have prominent chances of high-risk pregnancy.
The probability of high-risk pregnancy is very high in case of multiple pregnancies. Even though it is a common notion that multiple gestations are a reliever of completing your family at once, but medically women who are having twins, triplets or higher multiples have high risks of complicated pregnancy. Problems with multiple pregnancies include preeclampsia, preterm birth, and gestational diabetes.
Immune System Disorders
Women suffering from immune system disorders such as HIV/AIDS do not have strong capability to fight against infections due to the damaged immune system and have a high risk of transmitting HIV to their offspring. The virus can be sent in some ways such as during gestation period while giving birth or through breastfeeding.
Other factors causing high-risk pregnancy include,
- kidney diseases
- Blood Disorders for example sickle cell anaemia
- Lung diseases
- Excessive use of alcohol
- Sexually transmitting diseases (STDs)
- Abnormal position of fetus
- Thyroid problem
- Rh incompatibility of mother’s blood and fetal blood
- HELLP syndrome
Warning Signs to Remain Cautious during Pregnancy
Other than the above mentioned distinct risk factors, pregnant ladies must keep a keen eye on following warning signs as well, and if experience anything likely then immediately rush to your physician,
- Vaginal bleeding
- Regular Contractions
- Intense pain in lower abdominal area
- Frequent headaches
- Reduced fetal activity
- Watery Vaginal ejection
- Burning sensation while urinating
How to treat/ avoid high-risk pregnancy
The whole period of pregnancy is filled with anxiety, discomfort, and pain generally, but the condition worsens in the case of high-risk pregnancy. To avoid that, a pregnant woman must follow simple rules such as,
- Minimize the risk of complications by maintaining ideal weight
- Take a preconception meeting with your doctor
- Schedule regular prenatal care appointments
- Gain recommended amount of weight during pregnancy
- Maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle
- Avoid alcohol and illegal drugs
- Be stress-free and relaxed