High risk pregnancy? Here’s all you need to know!
A woman becomes a mother from the moment she learns that she is carrying a child. The news of pregnancy irks the behaviour of motherhood. She encounters a variety of emotions ranging from joy, excitement, calmness and worry. However, for some women, the extent of worry goes overboard. It is because they have a possibility of a high risk pregnancy.
In India, nearly 20-30% gestational women go through a high risk pregnancy. Despite such high figures, there is little understanding of the management and prevention of high risk pregnancy.
In this article, Dr Deepika Aggarwal, the best obstetrician & gynecologist in Gurgaon for high risk pregnancy, provides an overview of this health condition.
What is high risk pregnancy definition?
As the name denotes, a high risk pregnancy is the one that has higher risks of health complications for the newborn, the mother or both.
These health complications can arise anytime during, before or after pregnancy. There is special gynecologist for high risk pregnancy that offer additional monitoring and care.
What are the risk factors of having a high risk pregnancy?
Some women are more prone to endure a high risk pregnancy than others. Several risk factors result in this condition. Some common factors include:
Maternal Age: If you are an expecting mother over the age of 35 years or younger than 17 years, you would have higher odds of going through a high risk pregnancy. There are additional risks of genetic deformities and miscarriage in women over the age of 40.
Lifestyle: Your lifestyle choices directly impact your child’s life. The chances of high risk pregnancy increase in women who lead a sedentary life. If you have a history of smoking, drinking alcohol or substance abuse, you would be more vulnerable to this condition. It is recommended that you discuss your medical history with your doctor so that preventive healthcare can be given to you.
Underlying health conditions: Pre-existing health conditions such as high blood pressure, thyroid, obesity, diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, cancer, autoimmune diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, blood disorders, fertility issues and more can cause serious health concerns to the unborn child.
Obstetrics history: Your previous pregnancies can also cause a high risk pregnancy in the present. You should discuss your obstetrics history with your doctor to plan the care you need. Previous obstetrics medical conditions that can lead to high risk pregnancy are-
- Premature infant
- Post-term pregnancy
- Cesarean delivery
Pregnancy complications: Numerous complications can arise during pregnancy. Some of the common pregnancy complications are:
- Preterm labour – Among the top pregnancy complications that pave way for high risk pregnancy is the possibility of preterm labour. Preterm labour is the one that is induced before 37 weeks gestation.
- Preeclampsia – One of the most common pregnancy complications in women is preeclampsia. It is a disorder that leads to a sudden rise in blood pressure. It mostly develops after the 20th week of gestation.
- Gestational diabetes – It is a specific type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. In most cases, gestational diabetes can be treated post-delivery with the help of lifestyle-based treatment plans.
- Birth Defects – Numerous birth defects can affect a child. If the presence of such birth defects is seen during screening, there are higher odds of a high risk pregnancy. In such cases, expecting mothers require closer medical care.
- Problems in the baby’s growth – A baby is expected to grow at a moderate pace. If the baby’s growth is interrupted for some reason, the expecting mother would have to deliver pre-term. This situation raises the likelihood of a high risk pregnancy.
- Multiple pregnancies – There is a greater chance of undergoing a high risk pregnancy if the mother is expecting multiples. Birthing more than one baby can give rise to several complications.
If you are impacted by any of these risk factors, you should consult the best gynecologist in Gurgaon for high risk pregnancy.
What is the prevention of high risk pregnancy?
You can avoid high risk pregnancy with an attentive approach. Here is a list of measures you can take for the prevention of high risk pregnancy:
- Consult a gynecologist before conception: If you are planning to conceive, meet your gynecologist in advance to discuss the risk factors. Your healthcare provider can help you in making lifestyle modifications to achieve a healthy pregnancy.
- Discuss medical history: If you have an underlying health condition, discuss it with your doctor. He/she can help to formulate a treatment plan to minimise your chances of a high risk pregnancy.
- Healthy lifestyle: You should lead a healthy life that includes eating nutritious meals, doing moderate physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight. You should stop smoking or drinking alcohol.
- Practice self-care: The time of conception can be stressful for you. You should engage in activities that keep you calm and help you relax.
You can book an appointment with Dr Deepika Aggrawal to learn more about how to prevent high risk pregnancy.
What is the management of high risk pregnancy?
The incidence of high risk pregnancy is very common for gynecologists. Some specialised doctors help in the management of high risk pregnancy.
Each pregnancy is unique and so is its prenatal care. Your gynecologist for high risk pregnancy will carefully monitor your health. Depending upon on your health conditions, he/she indicate certain tests or screenings. These include:
- Targeted ultrasound: A targeted ultrasound is similar to a regular ultrasound except that it targets to screen abnormalities present in the baby. This ultrasound is recommended if the fetus shows signs of deformities.
- Prenatal cell-free DNA screening: It is a type of DNA test that examines the presence of chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus.
- Biophysical profile: Along with prenatal targeted ultrasound, the doctor may conduct a nonstress test to examine the heart rate of your baby. This test offers a complete health profile of the fetus.
- Laboratory tests: Lab tests such as urine test and blood test help in identifying whether the fetus has caught any infections like UTI, HIV or more.
- Checking cervix length: Your gynecologist may also indicate for you to undergo an ultrasound to check the cervical length of the baby. This scan helps to determine if you require preterm delivery or not.
What is the high risk pregnancy treatment?
High risk pregnancy treatment is varying in every case. The type of treatment offered depends upon the type of disease, its effect on the baby, the patient’s overall health condition and more. Most of the high risk pregnancy complications can be treated effectively if the condition is highlighted in the early stages. This is why it is more important to have regular prenatal care.
You can get customised high risk pregnancy treatment in Gurgaon at the CK Birla Hospital.
When to seek immediate medical care for a high risk pregnancy?
Undoubtedly, high risk pregnancy is a critical time for expecting parents. You would have practice extra prenatal care and look out for any problems.
You should immediately consult your healthcare provider in case you have:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Painful urination
- Vomiting or consistent nausea
- Blurred vision
- Pain in the lower abdomen area
- Watery discharge from the vagina
- Fever or chills
- Self-harm thoughts
- Sudden swelling in the face and hands
Faq’s on high risk pregnancy
Ques: How will a high risk pregnancy alter my prenatal care?
With a high risk pregnancy, you can expect to visit your obstetrician/gynecologist more frequently. Your doctor will monitor your health more closely than for a normal pregnancy.
Ques: How do I know my pregnancy is high risk?
Your gynecologist will be able to tell if you have a high risk pregnancy. However, you can get a better idea by yourself by knowing the risk factors of a high risk pregnancy.
Also, read: Tips to ensure healthy Pregnancy
How safe is my baby during a high risk pregnancy?
High risk pregnancy puts, both, the mother and child at risk of health complications. However, these complications can be minimised with early intervention of a specialised gynecologist and extra prenatal care.
The concluding note
High risk pregnancy is an ordinary phenomena around-the-globe. Due to its high prevalence, it requires an increased amount of awareness. The above article is your complete guide for a high risk pregnancy.
To know more about maternal and child health, you can book an appointment with Dr Deepika Aggarwal, the best gynecologist in Gurgaon for high risk pregnancy.
You can also visit the CK Birla Hospital for more details.