If you have been told by your OBGYN that you are a high-risk pregnancy it’s natural to have questions. You may want to know if there are any lifestyle changes you’ll need to make or how often you’ll need to visit your obstetrician for routine checkups throughout your pregnancy. The goal of your OBGYN is to provide the care you and your baby need for a healthy pregnancy and delivery, so don’t be afraid to ask any and all questions that you may have.
What makes a pregnancy high risk?
A high-risk pregnancy may be the result of certain factors that already existed before your pregnancy or the result of a medical condition that occurs during the course of your pregnancy. Here are some factors that can cause a high-risk pregnancy:
Advanced maternal age: pregnancy complications are higher for women who are over 35 years old, as well as women under 17 years old
Lifestyle factors: smoking, alcohol, and using drugs can also affect pregnancy
Medical history: women who have chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease are also more likely to experience other health problems during the pregnancy (talk with your OBGYN about any pre-existing health problems you have)
Multiple births: there is a higher chance for pregnancy risks when a woman is carrying two or more babies at a time
If I have a high-risk pregnancy what can I do?
The most important thing you can do to ensure a healthy, risk-free pregnancy is to make sure that you have an obstetrician that you trust. It’s very important that you keep up with routine checkups and exams. Women who have high-risk pregnancies may need to visit their OBGYN more regularly. In some instances, you may be referred to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist or other physicians.
Along with your routine checkups your OBGYN may also recommend various screening tests along with the standard prenatal screening tests. Some of these tests include specialized ultrasounds, amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling (CVS), cordocentesis, and lab testing.
Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and following the necessary steps to protect against infections can also go a long way to maintaining a healthy, risk-free pregnancy. If you find yourself dealing with high levels of stress this is something to discuss with your doctor to find the most effective strategies for reducing stress.
Whether you just found out you are pregnant or you are looking for an OBGYN to provide you with preconception counseling before getting pregnant, you want a doctor who puts your needs first. While a high-risk pregnancy can feel overwhelming at first your obstetrician will help guide you throughout the course of your pregnancy to make sure you get the care you deserve.