About 15% of all pregnant women are at risk of developing fatal complications. These include heart diseases, anemia and maternal infections, like UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). In India, almost 20%-30% of pregnancies come under the high risk category, according to the National Health Portal. But the good news is that the right treatment and prenatal care can make a significant difference. If you have been given a diagnosis of high risk pregnancy, you will need much closer monitoring and care.
What is High Risk Pregnancy?
A pregnancy is considered life-threatening when potential complexities put the mother and the unborn child in danger. The common discomforts include severe nausea, resulting in hospitalization, placenta previa, causing vaginal bleeding, and gestational diabetes, leading to macrosomia. A few causes of such conditions are impaired amniotic fluid levels, thyroid problems, chances of miscarriage and preeclampsia.
Factors like lifestyle choices (smoking, drinking and drug-use), advanced maternal age, history of premature births and multiple pregnancies have been linked to risky pregnancies. While a few high risk pregnancy conditions can be prevented, 8% of all complications need to be treated to improve the chances of survival.
Know What to Expect
Doctors suspect risky pregnancy if you have symptoms such as burning sensation during urination, persistent fever with chills, decreased fetal movement, excessive watery vaginal discharge and constant dizziness. These are the basic medical conditions to expect but try not to panic, since it could lead to hypertension. With timely medical care by the best doctors, the overall survival rate can be improved.
Health care advisors might recommend 400 micrograms of folic acid through the pregnancy, regular exercise for 30 minutes at least and regular perinatologist appointments.
How to Take Care of Yourself
Sensitive pregnancy cases require extra care to ensure a healthy baby, while reducing maternal complications. Take a look at some high risk pregnancy dos and don’ts.
- If you have existing complications, try not to stress or worry too much. It can impact your mental, psychological, and physical health. In fact, an increase in the cortisol levels can lead to premature birth or low birth weight in the baby.
- Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol at moderate levels. Your blood sugar should also never fall below 95 mg/dL. Make sure to get regular health check-ups to stay fit and healthy.
- One of the factors in high risk pregnancy prevention is 7 to 8 hours of sound sleep each day. Otherwise, it could lead to preterm labor, pro-inflammatory serum cytokines and extreme pain during delivery.
- You might get food poisoning from listeria bacteria and toxoplasmosis. These can cause problems like stillbirth, miscarriage, mental disability and blindness. Therefore, try to avoid raw milk and fish, processed meats and undercooked eggs.
One of the best ways to avoid high-risk pregnancy is to plan conception in your late 20s or early 30s. This can lower the risk of birth defects too. Also, cooperate with the team of doctors, nurses and dieticians for the best outcome.