A high-risk pregnancy occurs when the mother and baby are at an increased risk of health problems before, during, or after delivery. To learn more about managing this type of pregnancy, keeping reading below.
- Advanced Maternal Age: Expectant mother is over 35 years old
- Pre-existing Health Conditions: Diabetes, High-blood pressure, obesity, and more.
- Health problems developed during pregnancy: Gestational Diabetes, Pre-eclampsia, etc.
- Multiple pregnancy: Carrying more than one child (i.e., twins, triplets)
Know your potential risks early
Being aware of any potential health concerns can make a difference in safely managing your pregnancy. If you have not been seeing your doctor regularly, now is the time to start. Be sure to see your primary care physician (PCP) to make them aware of your pregnancy. Your PCP is a great starting point to learn of any potential health concerns that might affect your pregnancy. If you are experiencing any unusual symptoms, your PCP can examine you and recommend any necessary testing. They can also refer you to other doctors who specialize in treatments for your specific health concerns, such as a maternal-fetal medicine specialist. PCPs are familiar with your medical history and can share any pertinent information with your other health care providers.
Be monitored closely by your healthcare providers
In addition to contacting your PCP, you should also see an OB-GYN. An OB-GYN is the doctor you will be seen by most often for prenatal care. In low-risk pregnancies, expectant mothers visit their OB-GYN once a month during their first and second trimesters. From weeks 28-36, pregnant women should be seen for a check-up every two weeks. After 36 weeks, they should visit their doctor weekly until delivery
In a high-risk pregnancy, women should expect to visit their healthcare providers more frequently. This is to ensure you and your baby are healthy. Receiving a check-up more often allows your doctor to detect any concerning developments and provide you with treatment in a timely manner. Your healthcare providers develop time frames for you to follow-up based on your individual medical needs.
Leading a healthy lifestyle
Being high-risk does not mean you will have complications during your pregnancy or delivery. Expecting mothers can take steps to aid in keeping their selves and their babies healthy.
One of the most crucial things you can do is be open and honest with your medical care team. It may be uncomfortable at first, but do not be afraid to inform your doctor of any personal issues that can affect you or your child. These issues can include mental health disorders, cigarette smoking, recreational or prescription drug use, alcohol consumption, etc. Your medical team is there to provide the best possible care for you and your growing child. In order to do so, your healthcare providers need to have the most accurate information about your lifestyle. Do not be afraid of being judged or being reported to the authorities. Your medical team is required to follow HIPAA laws, meaning that the information you share with them will remain confidential.
Mothers-to-be can also remain healthy by eating a balanced diet. Your diet should include fruits, vegetables, grains, and healthy sources of protein (i.e., poultry, fish, nuts). Consult your doctor before engaging in physical activity. When done properly, exercise can be a great way to keep you (and baby) fit. However, be sure to receive the O.K. from your doctor to ensure the activity will not impact your child or worsen your medical condition.
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