You may be familiar with the term “high risk pregnancy.” While it is easy to feel frightened if your own pregnancy is deemed high risk, you should know that in the hands of a skilled physician, you have every chance of experiencing a healthy pregnancy and delivery. High risk pregnancies simply mean that you have a condition or complication that may pose a risk to the health of you or your baby during pregnancy and/or labor. You will need some extra care and monitoring to be sure everything is going as planned.
What makes a pregnancy “high risk”? These are four common complications that lead to a high risk pregnancy diagnosis:
When women show signs of labor before 37 weeks, it is considered preterm and high-risk pregnancy measures are often taken. This may include bedrest until the baby is healthy enough to be born. Risk factors for preterm labor can include carrying multiple fetuses, a history of premature labor, cervix abnormality and certain vaginal infections.
This condition is characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Up to eight percent of pregnant moms have preeclampsia. In more severe cases, it can lead to blood clotting and impact the function of the liver and kidney. Treatment can range from increasing Vitamin E and C to complete bedrest until delivery.
High blood-sugar levels can put your baby at risk for being too large. Gestational diabetes may not produce any symptoms at all or present itself with signs such as extreme thirst, blurred vision and increased urination. Women who maintain a healthy weight and eat a high-fiber, low-sugar diet are less at risk.
Bleeding during the second or third trimester can be an indication of placenta previa. This is a more rare condition in which the placenta covers the cervix. This poses a dangerous risk to the mother during delivery, as a torn placenta can cause hemorrhaging. Rest assured that in a large majority of cases, the placenta moves or shifts away from the cervix on its own. You will simply need to be monitored closely in case bed rest is necessary.
Many of the high risk pregnancies involve bed rest. While this is not an ideal way to spend your pregnancy, it is recommended only for the best interest of your health as well as your baby’s health. At North Pointe OB/GYN, we are proud to offer excellent care for high risk pregnancies, including those that involve multiple births, VBACs, breech births and the above mentioned conditions.