Author : Dr Jigna Tamagond, Consultant-Fertility Specialist, Oasis Fertility, Karimnagar
High-risk pregnancy – Do’s and Don’ts
Pregnancy itself brings some kind of fear and anxiety to women. Certain medical conditions and lifestyle choices can lead to high-risk pregnancy and may result in complications both for the mother and the baby. It is vital to know the conditions that can lead to complications and take the necessary precautions to have a safe pregnancy and a healthy child.
Causes of high-risk pregnancy:
1. Health conditions
If you have Diabetes before getting pregnant or if you develop Diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes), it may lead to complications both for the mother and the baby if the sugar levels are uncontrolled. The risk increases if you have gestational diabetes and you are overweight as well.
Women with PCOS have an increased risk of developing several complications like insulin resistance, heart disease, stroke, etc.
c. Thyroid issue
Women with thyroid issues may develop complications like preeclampsia (high BP), placental abruption (separation of the placenta from the uterus at an early stage), pulmonary hypertension, etc. It can also lead to miscarriage, low birth weight, and stillbirth.
d. Autoimmune diseases
Autoimmune diseases such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus can lead to severe complications. A multidisciplinary approach is needed that can help the women have a safe pregnancy and delivery.
e. High BP
Uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to stroke, placental abruption, etc.
Obesity in women can result in congenital abnormalities, premature birth, neonatal death, etc.
2. Lifestyle choices
Women who smoke have higher chances of having babies with birth defects.
b. Alcohol consumption
Women drinking excessive alcohol can lead to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in the baby which is characterized by physical disabilities, nervous system damage, etc.
c. Drug use
Drug use can lead to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and congenital abnormalities.
3. Age – conceiving first time after the age of 35
Advanced maternal age can lead to an increased risk of cesarean, fetal death in utero (FDIU), and other complications.
4. Multiple pregnancies
Women with multiple pregnancies have a higher risk of developing high BP during pregnancy. It can also lead to miscarriage, preterm labor, birth defects, etc.
Precautions for Pregnancy
1. Avoid smoking as it can affect the development of the fetus.
2. Avoid raw meat as it can cause infections and may lead to stillbirth or other complications to the fetus.
3. Avoid coffee as excess amounts can lead to miscarriage.
4. Avoid stress and start practicing yoga and listening to music.
5. Avoid alcohol consumption as it can lead to complications in the baby.
What you can do during pregnancy?
1. Get a good amount of sleep while you are pregnant which can be beneficial to your immune system, and brain and can also help in the regulation of hormones.
2. Eat healthy food by including a lot of vegetables, fruits and avoid processed foods.
3. Have a healthy weight as too much weight gain during pregnancy can lead to complications.
4. Include prenatal vitamins like folic acid that can prevent birth defects in the baby.
5. You should not miss out on regular health checkups
6. Practise yoga or exercise that can be helpful both for the mother and baby.
High-risk pregnancy conditions can be managed with the support of a doctor. Screening for Diabetes has to be done between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy but if you have a higher risk of Diabetes, you need to get it checked even earlier. Blood pressure needs to be checked at every visit to the gynecologist.
It is essential to follow all instructions and medications without fail. A positive and happy mindset is important for any pregnant woman to have a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery.