Most of the time, pregnancy is a smooth process. It’s long, laborious, but it results in the delivery of a new life. However, certain factors might make this process a little bumpier. According to the American Pregnancy Association, a pregnancy is considered high risk when extra care is needed to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery. By being knowledgeable about the conditions which might affect your pregnancy, you can determine how to best prepare yourself and your baby. Here are five factors that might put you at risk of a high-risk pregnancy.
High blood pressure
High blood pressure is a dangerous condition, whether or not a pregnancy is involved. However, for the expectant mother, high blood pressure is extra risky. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, high blood pressure in pregnant women might lead to damage of the mother’s kidneys, and increase the risk of preeclampsia, or low birth weight, in the child. But high blood pressure doesn’t always result in health consequences for the child: Just visit your medical professional regularly and monitor your condition to reduce the risk of possible complications.
Certain autoimmune diseases, like lupus and multiple sclerosis, might increase your risk of a turbulent pregnancy. Lupus has been found, for example, to heighten the risk of stillbirth and pre-term birth. Also, make sure your medications are safe for you to take while pregnant, as certain treatments might negatively impact the development of your baby.
Maintaining a healthy weight through proper diet and exercise is essential to everybody — but it’s particularly true for pregnant women. If you’re obese, you increase your risk of developing diabetes, which could lead to birth defects in your child. It’s important to remain active, even during your pregnancy, to safeguard both your health and the health of your baby.
Pregnancy after 35
If you’re over the age of 35 and it’s your first time becoming pregnant, you are at an increased risk of a problematic pregnancy. Older mothers tend to face more complications during labor, like excessive bleeding; a prolonged labor; and labor that doesn’t advance. But don’t let old age deter you from having a baby. Check in with your doctor, stay on top of your health and you will handle the circumstances as they come.
Your lifestyle really affects the success of your pregnancy and the health of your baby. Alcohol use (even moderate) is a major risk factor because any alcohol you drink passes directly to your baby through your umbilical cord. Plus, alcohol for expectant mothers comes with a slew of other possible consequences: you run a higher risk of having a miscarriage or stillbirth, your baby is at a higher risk of developing birth defects and disorders, etc. If you’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant, it’s best that you avoid alcohol altogether.