Pregnancy is one of the most trying periods of a woman's life. From a physical perspective or that of an emotional one, it puts a lot of pressure on the woman to deal with the new changes.
In the past, it was often seen that a greater majority of women were not able to bear with these challenges and this in turn resulted in high maternal mortality rate. Thanks to the advancements in medical science, there have been better treatments to most of the ailments surrounding pregnancy.
However, other than that, there has also been a major improvement in terms of pregnancy-related awareness. These days, people are more aware about what needs to be done to ensure utmost safety and comfort for both the mother and child.
In such a scenario, it is important for us to identify the factors that contribute to a high-risk pregnancy. Doing so will enable us to tackle those one after the other and will in turn pave the way for a much healthier pregnancy.
Needless to say, a healthy pregnancy ensures a much easier time for the mother-to-be and makes sure that the little one is born all healthy and happy. Hence, if you are planning to conceive, it is very important for you to identify the factors that can cause your pregnancy to become high risk.
It has been medically established that if one has a BMI of 30 or more, they will have a more difficult pregnancy. Often, these types of women give birth to children with fetal abnormalities. Hypertension, preeclampsia and diabetes are things that tend to affect obese pregnant women more as compared to their slimmer counterparts. Thus, if you are looking forward to a risk-free pregnancy, it is high time that you start shedding those extra pounds.
• Medical Conditions That Exist Before Pregnancy
All of us know that a number of sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS are transmitted from the mother to child during pregnancy. Thus, from the moment when they conceive, women with AIDS find themselves in a high-risk pregnancy. Other than this, conditions like high blood pressure, epilepsy, kidney or heart problems, diabetes, thyroid and other ailments make a woman's pregnancy a high-risk one right from the very first day.
• Drug And Alcohol Use
It is a well-accepted fact that women who are pregnant should not smoke or drink alcohol. Doing so is equally harmful for the mother as well as her unborn child and immediately makes the pregnancy a high-risk one. In fact, pregnant women should not even come in contact with smokers and passive smoking is also harmful for them. As per reports issued by the World Health Organization, smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of a stillbirth by over 50% while also triggering motor skill abnormalities in the child's early years.
• Multiple Pregnancies
Preeclampsia and gestational diabetes are things that are seen to strike women carrying twins or triplets much more as compared to their counterparts carrying singletons. Hence, one needs to be extra careful in this type of a pregnancy. In fact from a layman's point of view, it will be fair to say that the greater the number of babies in the womb, the higher will be the risk involved. The inherent risk of pre-term labour is much higher and if you are carrying multiples, chances are that you will be put to bed rest in the last few months of pregnancy.
• IVF Pregnancy
IVF pregnancies have a much higher risk of both preeclampsia as well as fetal abnormalities. Children born out of such pregnancies often have congenital heart disease. It is because of the chromosomal abnormalities that these people are at a high risk of this type of a pregnancy, which is usually monitored very closely. The visits to the gynecologist are very closely spaced to ensure utmost medical care in this form of artificially planned pregnancy. The silver lining here is the fact that most of the complications of this form of high-risk pregnancies are the ones that can be treated with medication if they are diagnosed at the correct time.
• Stress Level
Maternal stress level is a major factor in pregnancies. The stress may be due to career and work or it can be due to personal and familial reasons. However being worried at this delicate stage of life has its direct implications on the poor unborn child. Thus, in case you feel that you are under some form of stress, you must confide the same in your doctor. This will enable him or her to decide if your pregnancy is one that is of a higher risk and if you need some special medication for the same.
• Medical History
The family history of the expected mother has a major role to play in deciding the fate of her pregnancy. It is often seen that things like carrying multiples runs in a family. Also, having a family history of miscarriage makes one's pregnancy a high-risk one. Other than the family history, the personal history of an individual also has a role to play. If one has had previous stillbirths or pregnancies that have resulted in low birth weight or pre-term labour, then one needs to be all the way more careful with the subsequent pregnancies.
• Maternal Age
The female body is such that it is designed to produce kids at a particular age. Violating this rule, by trying to conceive before or after the ideal age, makes one's pregnancy a high-risk one. Thus, one should not get pregnant before they reach the second decade of life. On a similar note, it is not advisable for one to try to conceive after they have reached the age of 35. In case they still do get pregnant, that type of a pregnancy classifies as a high-risk one and demands special care and attention.