How Your OB/GYN Can Help You Manage A High-Risk Pregnancy

High-risk pregnancies are those that include increased health risks for babies and mothers. There are many situations that can cause a pregnancy to be considered high-risk. Whether you have been pregnant before or are planning to become pregnant in the future, it’s important to know what a high-risk pregnancy is and how your OB/GYN can help you through it.

What makes high-risk pregnancies different?

All pregnancies come with the chance of something going wrong. High-risk pregnancies, however, come with additional risks for both mom or baby. Doctors usually need to provide more care to moms and babies affected by these pregnancies before, during, and after birth. Even though moms with higher risks of health issues need more care, many have a healthy pregnancy and baby due to that extra medical attention.

There are many factors that can result in a high-risk pregnancy. These include previous health conditions as well as pregnancy-related medical issues. Lifestyle choices can also affect pregnancies, especially smoking, drug use, and alcohol use.

Which conditions are more likely to occur in high-risk pregnancies?

As stated above, preexisting health conditions can result in a high-risk pregnancy. Things like diabetes, fibroids, autoimmune diseases, HIV/AIDS, high blood pressure, blood clotting issues, obesity, and PCOS can affect pregnancies.

There are health issues that can happen during pregnancy as well that can affect both mothers and babies. Babies can experience birth defects and poor growth. Mothers may be more likely to have the following and more.

  • Multiple babies like twins, triplets, etc… (which come with their own set of risks)
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Eclampsia
  • Preeclampsia
  • Preterm delivery
  • Future issues with other pregnancies

Age matters in pregnancy for a few reasons. For those under 17, anemia can be an issue as well as awareness of STDs and the desire or ability to get prenatal care. Women who have a first-time pregnancy after the age of 35 are highly likely to have higher risks, including gestational diabetes and early pregnancy loss.

Symptoms of high-risk pregnancies

When you are pregnant, you should have regular appointments with your OB/GYN. If you start experiencing any of the following symptoms, call them right away, especially if they are new.

  • Dizziness/fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Severe headaches
  • Nausea and/or vomiting that is worse than usual
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Vaginal bleeding/discharge
  • Swelling, pain, or redness in your face or limbs
  • Breathing issues
  • Thoughts of self-harm or harm towards your baby
  • The baby stops moving or moves more slowly

How OB/GYN’s diagnose and monitor high-risk pregnancies

Getting prenatal care as early into your pregnancy as possible is the best way to catch any issues before they may become an emergency. Your health history and current lifestyle information will be helpful in determining whether you are at risk. Testing will also be done to determine your health and that of your baby, including blood and urine tests, biophysical profile testing for your baby, and ultrasounds as needed.

Managing a high-risk pregnancy

All pregnancies are unique and high-risk pregnancies are even more so. You and your doctor will work closely to help manage your high-risk pregnancy with the best care available. You will have more follow-ups, appointments with specialists, more frequent observations of your baby and your health, home blood pressure monitoring, and more. Here are some steps you can take that will also help you handle your high-risk pregnancy.

Stick to a plan

Your OB/GYN will create a medical care plan to help you and your baby stay healthy. You should follow their recommendations and add your own ideas, like self-care that will reduce your stress levels. Just make sure to go over everything with your healthcare provider to ensure it is safe. Good self-care can include eating a healthy diet, limiting stressors, avoiding alcohol and smoking, and sleeping well.

Enjoy your support system

Lean on your family and friends if you need help. High-risk pregnancies often involve lifestyle changes. It is important to accept help when offered and to ask for help when you need it. There are also support groups available in person and online across the country that can help you get through the difficulties you could be having.

Take care of your mind

Your mental health can be affected if you have a high-risk pregnancy. This is why you should be aware of how you treat your mind and body. It is also why having a strong support system is so vital. If you have feelings of anxiety or depression at any time through your journey, speak with your OB-GYN or a therapist. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself!

Pregnancy care at Women’s Healthcare Associates

If you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, the team at WHA is here to help! We are there for you through every step of your Pregnancy. You can reach us at (806) 355-6330 to schedule an appointment and learn more about our Services.

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