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HIGH RISK PREGNANCY
A pregnancy is considered high-risk when there are potential complications that could affect the mother, the baby, or both. High risk pregnancies are a segment of obstetrical population that produces majority of maternal and infant mortality and morbidity. High-risk pregnancies require management by a specialist to help ensure the best outcome for the mother and baby.
Risk Factors for High-Risk Pregnancy
Reasons that a pregnancy may be considered high risk include:Maternal Age-One of the most common risk factors for a high-risk pregnancy is the age of the mother-to-be. Women who will be under age 17 or over age 35 when their baby is due are at greater risk of complications than those between their late teen and early 30s. The risk of miscarriage and genetic defects further increases after age 40.Medical conditions that exist before pregnancy-
Conditions such as high blood pressure; lung, kidney, or heart problems; diabetes; autoimmune disorders; sexually transmitted diseases (STDS); or chronic infections such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can present risks for the mother and/or her unborn baby.A history of miscarriage, problems with a previous pregnancy or pregnancies, or a family history of genetic disorders are also risk factors for a high-risk pregnancy.Medical conditions that develop during pregnancy-
Even if the mother is healthy when she becomes pregnant, it is possible to develop or be diagnosed with problems during pregnancy that can affect her and the baby. Two of the more common pregnancy-related problems are:
Often a pregnancy is classified as high risk because of issues that arise from the pregnancy itself and that have little to do with the mother's health. These include:
Preventing and Treating Pregnancy Complications
Preconception counselling is recommended for all the women who are planning for the baby, even if they don't have an existing medical condition. At this appointment doctor will recommend steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of certain problems. These include:
Women with high risk pregnancy should have regular check ups and deliver in a well equipped multispeciality hospital setting, with intensive care available for both mother and baby. Under proper supervision of doctors, one can prevent and treat high risk pregnancies.
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