Pregnancy can be a source of great joy for soon-to-be-parents, but it can also rake in a lot of stress especially if the mother is diagnosed with complications that classify her as a high-risk pregnancy. There can be many factors that put a pregnancy at risk such as existing health conditions, age, lifestyle factors, and the condition or type of pregnancy itself.
Don’t be alarmed or lose all hope if you have been diagnosed as a high-risk pregnancy. It is just a way for doctors to indicate that you need to pay more attention about certain symptoms or conditions during the period of carrying your child. It also doesn’t mean that your baby will automatically have health issues or birth complications, so it’s better to keep a calm mind and try to focus on following your doctor’s advice rather than putting your energy in worrying about your condition.
With that said, there are certainly ways on how you can manage your high-risk pregnancy in order to still have a healthy and successful delivery.
Types of High-Risk Pregnancies
1) Preterm or Premature Labor
If you experience regular contractions before reaching the 37th week of your pregnancy, then you are in preterm or premature labor. If you do give birth during this period, your baby will be considered premature.
There is no single and definite cause of preterm labor. Some women may experience it due to their family medical history or because they are carrying multiple fetuses. Other reasons include abnormalities of the cervix and certain infections in the vagina. Some telltale signs of premature labor are bloody or watery vaginal discharge and cramps on your abdominal area.
Managing stress is one of the best weapons you can have against premature labor. Consult your doctor about doing simple yoga exercises, how much bed rest is good for you, and if you can opt for progesterone shots, which have been known to reduce premature birth by almost 20 per cent.
This type of high-risk pregnancy is when the mother has high blood pressure and protein build up in her urine that may cause blood clotting and impaired liver and kidney functions. It’s been also linked to a woman’s body-mass index during pregnancy. Since this is a serious condition that can affect both mother and child, it’s important to see your doctor for treatment.
Some of the symptoms you can observe include swelling in the hands and feet, blood in the urine, headaches, and extreme nausea. Mothers who have a family history of the condition are also more likely to be affected.
Depending on your symptoms, your gynaecologist may suggest bed rest and taking vitamins like E and C. On your end, you can reduce your risk by maintaining the ideal weight recommended by your doctor, eating a nutritious meal, and doing low-impact exercises.
3) Gestational Diabetes
This is actually a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy when the pancreas does a poor job of producing insulin to counteract pregnancy hormones that spike up blood-sugar levels.
This condition does resolve itself after you deliver your baby, but the reason why it falls under high-risk pregnancies is because women who have it may eventually develop type 2 diabetes. You may not have any symptoms at all to detect gestational diabetes, but keep a look out for increased urination, blurred vision, and the constant feeling of being thirsty.
A way to keep gestational diabetes at bay is to make sure you have a high-fibre, low sugar diet. Also, exercise regularly in order to keep a healthy weight. You may also need to ask your doctor whether you need insulin injections.
4) Placenta Previa
This is a condition where the placenta covers the cervix. Though it only happens in less than one per cent of pregnancies, it is still a high-risk condition because it can cause heavy bleeding for the mother as portions of the placenta tear during labour.
Women who have had previous C-sections, abortions, or are carrying multiple fetuses are at a higher risk. Bleeding during the second or third trimester is a common symptom for this condition and you should report it immediately to your doctor. You cannot prevent Placenta Previa but depending on your symptoms, your doctor may either just monitor your closely or recommend complete bed rest. If your bleeding continuous, your doctor may require hospitalisation.
Keep Communication Lines Open
A high-risk pregnancy can indeed be unsettling. The best approach would be to keep an open line of communication with your gynecologist so you can get the right information about your condition and know what to do in order to still have a safe delivery.