Finding out you are pregnant is one of the most exciting moments in a woman's or couples’ lives; however, finding out you’re a high-risk pregnancy can be worrisome. It’s important to understand what factors can put a pregnant woman at risk for complications. Some of these factors require simple lifestyle changes while other factors cannot be altered, but the most important factor is that you have a trusted and knowledgeable OBGYN that can ensure that you get the regular prenatal care that you need to prevent serious complications.
What can lead to a high-risk pregnancy?
There is a wide range of factors that can determine whether a woman will be a high-risk pregnancy. Some of these factors include:
- Previous pregnancy complications (if you’ve been pregnant before and dealt with complications such as premature birth, then you are more likely to deal with complications with future pregnancies)
- Multiple births (if you are having twins, triplets, quadruplets or more, you are also more likely to go into preterm labor)
- Blood disorders (e.g. sickle cell disease)
- Lupus or other autoimmune disorders
- Advanced mature age (women who are age 35 or older)
- Diabetes (both type 1 and type 2)
- Thyroid disease
Other risk factors include lifestyle habits, such as:
- Drinking alcohol
- Illicit drug use
It’s important to make these changes to your lifestyle before getting pregnant to reduce the risk of birth defects and premature birth.
What does this mean for my care?
Women need to keep in mind that just because they are a high-risk pregnancy does not mean that they will face complications or issues. Having an OBGYN by your side is paramount to keeping both you and baby healthy and making sure that if problems do arise that they are caught and treated early.
A woman who is a high-risk pregnancy will want to visit their OBGYN more often for prenatal checkups so that their doctor can closely monitor them for any changes. Remember, keeping up with your prenatal care appointments is one surefire way to keep both you and your baby safe and healthy.
If you are a high-risk pregnancy or are concerned about being a high-risk pregnancy, it’s important to discuss this with your OBGYN right away.