Low and High Risk Pregnancies

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Low and High Risk Pregnancies

What is a Low-Risk Pregnancy?

It is the usual pregnancy, which tends to be normal, in a woman who does not have risk factors that endanger the health of herself or her baby. However, this does not exclude the possibility that some complications arise during pregnancy, although these are less frequent than in high-risk pregnancies. A healthy life and proper prenatal control are important to detect some of these, treat them in time and reach a happy ending.

What is a High-Risk Pregnancy?

If you have a high-risk pregnancy, you and your baby are at greater risk for health problems before, after, and during delivery. Special checkups and care will usually be needed throughout the pregnancy. Understand what causes a high-risk pregnancy, and what you can do to take care of yourself and your baby.

What are the risk factors for a high-risk pregnancy?
Sometimes a high-risk pregnancy is the result of an illness that was present before the pregnancy. In other cases, an illness of yours or of the baby that occurs during pregnancy makes the pregnancy high-risk.

Some of the specific factors that may contribute to a high-risk pregnancy are the following:

  • The advanced age of the mother; mothers over age 35 is at greater risk in pregnancy.
  • Lifestyle choices. Smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and using illegal drugs can put the pregnancy at risk.
  • Medical history. A history of chronic high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, breathing problems (such as poorly controlled asthma), infections, and blood clotting disorders (such as deep vein thrombosis) can increase the risks of pregnancy.
  • Surgical history. A history of surgery on the uterus, including multiple cesarean sections, many abdominal surgeries, or surgery to remove uterine tumors (fibroids), may increase the risks of pregnancy.

Complications of Pregnancy.

Various complications that occur during pregnancy can pose risks. Examples include abnormal placental location, fetal growth below the 10th percentile for gestational age (restriction of fetal growth) and sensitization to Rh (rhesus), a potentially serious condition that can occur when your blood group is Rh negative and your baby’s blood group is Rh positive. Pregnancy risks are higher for women who are pregnant with twins or more babies.

What steps can I take to promote a healthy pregnancy?
If you know ahead of time that you will have a high-risk pregnancy or if you simply want to do everything possible to avoid a high-risk pregnancy, respect the basics. For example:

  • Schedule a pre-conception medical appointment. If you are thinking about getting pregnant, talk to your health care provider. Your health care provider may recommend that you start taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid every day and reach a healthy weight before you become pregnant. If you have an illness, you may need to adjust your treatment to prepare for pregnancy. Your health care provider may also talk to you about the risk of having a baby with a genetic condition.
  • Get regular prenatal care. Prenatal visits can help your health care provider monitor your health and your baby’s health. Depending on the circumstances, you may be referred to a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine, genetics, pediatrics, or other specialties.
  • Eat a healthy diet. During pregnancy, you will need more folic acid, protein, calcium, and iron. A daily prenatal vitamin can help make up for deficiencies. Tell your health care provider if you have special nutritional needs due to a condition, such as diabetes.
  • Gain weight wisely. Gaining the right amount of weight is good for your baby’s health and can help you lose extra pounds after delivery. Work with your health care provider to determine what is right for you.
  • Avoid risky substances. If you smoke, quit. Alcohol and illegal drugs are also prohibited. Get approval from your health care provider before starting or stopping any medications or supplements.

A high-risk pregnancy may have ups and downs. Strive to maintain a positive attitude while taking steps to promote a healthy pregnancy.

Various complications that occur during pregnancy can pose risks. Examples include abnormal placental location, fetal growth below the 10th percentile for gestational age (restriction of fetal growth) and sensitization to Rh (rhesus), a potentially serious condition that can occur when your blood group is Rh negative and your baby’s blood group is Rh positive. Pregnancy risks are higher for women who are pregnant with twins or more babies.

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