Though having a baby is a natural process, all the pregnancies do not go smoothly as expected. Some of the women experience difficulty during or after the pregnancy, which is referred as high risk pregnancy.

A pregnancy is considered as a high risk pregnancy if the pre-existing health conditions of the mother could affect the health of baby, mother or both. High risk pregnancies require special monitoring and care throughout the pregnancy to ensure a healthy delivery.
It is important to understand the risk factors of high risk pregnancy and how to take care of yourself during pregnancy.

Risk Factors of High Risk Pregnancy

In a few cases, existing health condition can cause high risk pregnancy. Also, any medical condition developed during pregnancy can also cause high risk to your pregnancy. The possible reasons for high risk pregnancy include:

Maternal age: Maternal age is the main reason for high risk pregnancy. Women who conceive under the age of 17 or above the age of 35 are at high risk of pregnancy than the other women. The risk even increases with the age.
Existing medical conditions: Existing medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney or heart problems, HIV can increase the risk of complications during pregnancy. Problems with a previous pregnancy, miscarriage can also lead to high risk pregnancy.
Weight: Women who are very thin are at risk of giving birth to underweight babies. On the other hand, obese women are at high risk for diabetes, neural tube defects and high blood pressure.
Multiple births: Women who carry more than one fetus or twins have more chances of a high risk pregnancy.
Lifestyle: Lifestyle habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol and use of drugs can cause risk to the pregnancy.
Health problems during pregnancy: Complication that develops during pregnancy can risk the pregnancy. If you have a premature baby in your previous delivery, you are at high risk of early delivery.
Height: Women who are shorter than 5 feet are likely to have a small pelvis, where the fetus movement between vagina and pelvis becomes difficult during labor. Shorter women are also at high risk of preterm labor.

Proper prenatal care can help reduce complications during pregnancy.

How to Promote a Healthy Pregnancy?

The following simple steps can help prevent high risk pregnancy.

Consult health care provider: If you are planning for pregnancy, consult your health care provider. If you have any medical condition, your doctor would adjust the treatment while preparing for pregnancy. Your doctor might also prescribe a prenatal vitamin to reach a healthy weight to conceive. The doctor also makes you understand any possible risks of pregnancy if you have a genetic condition.
Once you conceive, make regular appointments with your doctor so that your doctor can monitor yours and the baby’s health.
Follow a healthy diet: To have a healthy pregnancy, consume fruits, whole grains, vegetables and other healthy food. Also, perform exercises if recommended by your doctor. Do not eat raw meat and unpasteurized cheese.
Handle stress: Try to reduce stress in your life and always try to have a peace and a calm mind.
Hygiene: Wash your hands on a regular basis to protect yourself from infections.
Follow a healthy lifestyle: Once you conceive, avoid smoking, alcohol consumption and stop using illegal drugs. If you are using any over the counter medications or other supplements, discuss with your doctor whether you need to stop or can continue using them.

When to Visit a Doctor?

Discuss with your doctor about how to manage medical conditions during pregnancy and how those conditions could affect your delivery. Visit your doctor immediately if you have:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Cramps in the lower abdomen
  • Sudden swelling in the face, hands or fingers
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Reduced fetal activity
  • Severe headache or fever

The complications related to high risk pregnancy are high. Try to do your best to stay positive and have a healthy pregnancy.

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