June 20, 2018
Is my Pregnancy High-Risk?
If you are pregnant and have been told you have a high-risk pregnancy, you may be wondering exactly what that means. A high-risk pregnancy means a woman has one or more things that could raise her own, or her baby’s, chances of health problems or early delivery.
A pregnancy could be considered high risk for several reasons. These include if the pregnant woman:
- Is aged under 17
- Is aged over 35
- Was under or overweight before becoming pregnant
- Is pregnant with twins or other multiples
- Has high blood pressure, diabetes, depression or any other health problem
- Has had problems with a previous pregnancy
Women who continue to smoke, take illegal drugs or drink alcohol throughout their pregnancy can also cause health problems for themselves and the unborn baby.
If your pregnancy is considered high-risk, you may want to work with your doctor or care provider to ensure any health problems are managed and under control.
The following tips can help you ensure your pregnancy is as healthy as possible:
- See your doctor regularly in your pregnancy for prenatal care.
- Ensure your diet is full of healthy fruits, vegetables, meats
- Exercise regularly if your doctor has given you the go ahead
- Gain a healthy amount of weight throughout your pregnancy
- Protect yourself from infections by washing your hands well and often
- Do not eat raw meat, fish or unpasteurised cheese
- Reduce the amount of stress you are experiencing
If you have a high-risk pregnancy, it is worth preparing yourself for a birth that may not be the kind you would choose. You will not have the option to have a birth at home or via a birth centre. You will need to give birth in hospital where you and your baby will be monitored closely, both during the birth and afterwards.
Some women with a high-risk pregnancy will need to have labour induced to prevent or reduce health problems from occurring. Some women will not be able to have a vaginal birth and will therefore need to have a caesarean.