Is your pregnancy high-risk?
Pregnancy is one of the most delightful yet cautious times in a woman’s life. Naturally, during the course of 9 months, an expectant mother lives with excitement, nervousness, joy, worry and a whole lot of mixed emotions about the health of her child. These emotions are even greater in intensity if you have a high-risk pregnancy.
Dr Archana Pathak, a leading obstetrician and gynaecologist at the CK Birla Hospital, describes high-risk pregnancy as a pregnancy when there is an increased risk of health concerns to the mother or the fetus.
She adds, “A wide range of factors contribute to your pregnancy being a high-risk one. Primarily, lifestyle choices, underlying medical conditions and genetic factors can put a healthy pregnancy at risk.”
What makes a pregnancy high-risk?
There are several factors that can increase the risk of health complications for you and your fetus. Common risk-factors include:
- Advanced maternal age
- Consumption of alcohol
- Underlying health problems in mother such as diabetes, high blood pressure
- Multiple pregnancy
- Pregnancy complications
- Genetic problems
Dr Pathak adds, “Each pregnancy is unique. Hence, the biological markers of every expectant mother that may put her at a high-risk pregnancy are also different.”
Can I avoid a high-risk pregnancy?
It is possible to prevent or reduce the risk factors of a complicated pregnancy. Doctors, worldwide, suggest the following measures to promote a healthy pregnancy.
Consult a obstetrician before conceiving
It is advised that you should consult a healthcare provider while trying to conceive so that you can receive comprehensive care and understand the factors that may put you at risk.
Seek routine prenatal care
Regular prenatal care helps your doctor in monitoring and understanding the growth and development of your fetus. Prenatal visits provide vital information about the various changes in your body. By examining these changes, your doctor can help manage or avoid any pregnancy complications in a timely manner.
Eat a well-balanced diet
Consult your dietitian to help plan a nutrient-dense diet plan for you. You should ensure to meet your caloric intake and a variety of healthy food items including protein, folic acid, omega-3 fatty acid and fiber. Your ideal diet plan should also help you in maintaining a healthy weight to avoid pregnancy complications.
Avoid risky behaviors and lifestyle habits
Your obstetrician will provide personalised guidance on how to keep your pregnancy healthy. This guidance will involve specific information on your dietary habits and lifestyle choices such as smoking and alcohol intake.
Get advanced prenatal screenings and tests
Prenatal scans and tests help in identifying whether your baby will have certain birth or genetic defects. Prenatal tests include blood tests, chorionic villus sampling (CVS), ultrasound and amniocentesis.
“High-risk pregnancy is not a cause of panic. Today, medical facilities have advanced greatly. Doctors can now detect and identify your health risks before you conceive. There are effective protocols and measures to help manage the effects of high-risk pregnancy. We offer comprehensive high-risk pregnancy management at the CK Birla Hospital.” says Dr Pathak.