What is referred to in the medical world as a high risk pregnancy is a pregnancy where the mother or the unborn child has some sort of elevated risk of health issues, complications or diagnoses. It sounds much scarier than it is. High risk is simply a term that doctors will use to ensure you receive the attention, care and that your needs are met from the beginning to end of your pregnancy. There are many factors that may make you a “high risk” patient and any and all issues will be addressed early.
The risks and factors listed below put mother and the infant at risk for issues that vary from delayed and stunted growth to premature labor. However, this is not to scare you as ‘High risk’ does not translate into definitive health issues. You may be considered high risk if you have, or have had diabetes, cancer, blood pressure (high or low), kidney stones or kidney disease, epilepsy, alcohol or drug use, smoking, or if you are under 17 or older than 35. It may also impact your level of risk if discovered that you are carrying more than one baby (i.e. twins or triplets).
Your baby faces a higher risk of developing a prenatal or early condition if you have a history of premature labor, seizures or you currently have one of more children with Down’s syndrome or other genetic issues/complications. Infections also increase risks so ensure you are vaccinated against HPV, Hepatitis, Menangitis and so on. Also ensure you disclose any and all medication to your doctor so to ensure that these do not interfere with the health of you or your baby.
High risk pregnancies are not so uncommon and are not always indicative of definite health issues. However, high risk is not something that should be taken lightly and women should take all measures to ensure their health and the health of their child.