My doctor tells me I have a high-risk pregnancy. What does that mean?
In every pregnancy, there is a risk of health problems for mother and child. If your doctor tells you that you have a high-risk pregnancy, it means that there is a higher chance of you and/or your baby developing health problems. However, this also means that you will get extra attention during your pregnancy to make sure things go smoothly.
Factors for a high-risk pregnancy
You are more likely to have a high-risk pregnancy if you
- are over 35 years old or below 17 years old
- are carrying twins/triplets (or more)
- smoke or drink or use drugs
- have a pre-existing health condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure
- have had a problematic pregnancy in the past
- are having an overdue pregnancy.
Steps to minimize risk in a pregnancy
First of all, don’t panic! You might be feeling anxious about having a high-risk pregnancy, but if you go for regular prenatal appointments and follow your doctor’s advice, everything will be just fine. Remember that anxiety can negatively affect your health and your baby’s health too.
There are good habits you should adopt to minimize risk. A balanced diet is a must, and some exercise should also be part of your daily routine. These habits are to ensure that both you and your baby get the nourishment needed, and remain active and healthy.
A fetal doppler can be reassuring to have at home to know if your baby is doing fine. It is a small device that you can use to hear your baby’s heartbeat from about the 13th week of pregnancy. Of course, at any point in time, if you feel like something is not quite right, trust your instincts and contact your doctor immediately.