What is High Risk Pregnancy?

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High-Risk Pregnancy – Overview

A high-risk pregnancy is one that has higher health risks for the expectant mother, the unborn child, or both. Pregnancy can be high risk when you have certain medical issues and when you are young (under 35 or under 17) when you become pregnant. To reduce the possibility of difficulties, these pregnancies need to be closely monitored.

What Does High-Risk Pregnancy Means?

Every pregnancy involves risk. Any pregnancy that entails higher health risks for the expectant mother, the fetus (unborn child) or both is considered to be “high risk.”

High-risk pregnant women may require more care before, during, and after giving delivery. This lessens the likelihood of difficulties.

However, just because your pregnancy is deemed high risk doesn’t guarantee you or your unborn child will experience issues. Despite having exceptional health needs, many people have safe pregnancies and typical labor and delivery.

Risk Factors of High-Risk Pregnancy

A medical issue that existed before getting pregnant can occasionally cause a high-risk pregnancy. In some situations, a pregnancy may become high risk due to a medical problem that manifests itself while you or your unborn child are pregnant.

The following may increase the incidence of high-risk pregnancy

Maternal age in her prime. Women above 35 years old have an increased likelihood of becoming pregnant.

Choices of lifestyle. Pregnancy risk factors include taking illegal substances, alcohol intake, and smoking cigarettes.

Obstetrical health issues. Pregnancy risks can be raised by conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, epilepsy, thyroid disease, blood or heart conditions, poorly controlled asthma, and infections.

Gestational diabetes

It’s a form of diabetes that appears while a woman is pregnant. If gestational diabetes patients adhere to their doctor’s treatment recommendations, they can have healthy pregnancies and newborns. After birth, diabetes typically goes away.

However, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure are more likely to develop in pregnant women with gestational diabetes. To protect your baby from harm, you might need to give birth via C-section rather than vaginally.

If you are over 25, expecting several children, are overweight, have had gestational diabetes or a very large baby in the past, or if someone in your family has diabetes, your likelihood of developing gestational diabetes increases.

Preeclampsia

It’s a syndrome that can be harmful or even fatal for the mother or baby if left untreated; it includes high blood pressure, high protein levels in your urine, and edema. But the majority of pregnant women with preeclampsia deliver healthy offspring with the right care.

Preeclampsia’s root causes are unknown. If you are older, overweight, or had diabetes or high blood pressure prior to becoming pregnant, your risk increases. Additional pregnancies increase your risk.

Depression

Between 14% and 23% of pregnant women experience depression. If you’ve ever had depression, it’s more likely. Because of hormonal changes, weariness, domestic stress, and a lack of support, pregnancy may be connected to depression. Depression itself has been associated with premature birth, low birth weight, and issues during pregnancy and delivery.

Depression after giving birth might make it more difficult to take care of both you and your child. Inquire about medical or talk therapy options with your doctor or midwife. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using medication during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Pregnancy is frequently labeled as high risk due to complications that develop during pregnancy but have little to do with the mother’s health.

These consist of

Placenta Previa. is a condition the cervix is covered by the placenta. Bleeding may result from the condition, especially if a woman is experiencing contractions. To lessen the danger of bleeding for both mother and child, the doctor may plan a cesarean section if the placenta is still covering the cervix near to birth.

Premature Labor. is labor that starts earlier than 37 weeks into the pregnancy. Around 12% of newborns born in the United States are premature. Preemies are more likely to experience future health issues or developmental disabilities. Although it is impossible to predict which women will give birth prematurely, there are some conditions that put women at higher risk, including some illnesses, a shorter cervix, or a history of preterm birth.

Fetal issues. It occasionally appears on ultrasound. Around 2% to 3% of all infants have a little or significant structural issue with development. Fetal abnormalities can occasionally run in families, but they can also arise out of nowhere.

If you have multiple births, you are carrying more than one child (twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc.). Multiple pregnancies raise the risk of early delivery, gestational diabetes, and pregnancy-related high blood pressure. These complications are becoming increasingly common as more women use infertility therapies.

These infants are more susceptible to long-term health issues like cerebral palsy or delayed development. Remember, though, that the majority of multiple births are healthy.

References
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22190-high-risk-pregnancy

https://www.webmd.com/baby/managing-a-high-risk-pregnancy

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