High Risk Pregnancy

A high risk pregnancy is one that involves several risks to the mother or the child. It is not necessary that there are definite problems, however, only indicates that special care and monitoring will be required for the mother.
There are several factors that can result in a high risk pregnancy such as:
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Under age or above 35
  • Multiple Pregnancy
  • Previous miscarriages 
  • Genetic disorder in child
  • Infection- HIV, Hepatitis C
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The symptoms / signs that one may look out for in case of high risk pregnancy are-

  • Bleeding from the vagina
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Decreased activity of the fetus
  • Changes in vision

A high risk pregnancy can be diagnosed by ultrasounds in which sound waves are used to produce images of the baby and abnormalities in its development can be detected. An amniocentesis is carried out in case there is a history of genetic disorders in the family. A sample of the amniotic fluid is taken and checked for chromosomal aberrations and other life-threatening diseases. Chorionic Villi Sampling (CVS) is a procedure in which cells from the placenta are examined and can help identify genetic disorders in the child. A cordocentesis, which is an umbilical cord blood sampling procedure, is carried out to diagnose infections and genetic conditions present in the baby. Complications in labor can be diagnosed by measuring the length of the cervix.  

High Risk Pregnancy is caused due to several reasons. It is essential that the mother takes utmost care in order to prevent any problems occurring to the child or mother. All factors affect pregnancy in different ways and hence, each one needs to be treated differently.

A high risk pregnancy threatens the life of the mother or the child. There are possibilities of miscarriages. The child may have chromosomal abnormalities and grow up to have other diseases. The child may also get HIV or other infections in case of normal vaginal delivery. The mother may have complications in the postpartum stage. 

It is essential for the mother to get regular sonographies done and consistently visit the doctor to track progress of the pregnancy. The patient must not engage in drug or alcohol abuse. She should take large amounts of rest and should not do too much physical work. The mother must try to keep away from infections as it may increase complications of a high-risk pregnancy. Maintaining a healthy diet during a high-risk pregnancy is of prime importance and extra supplements for folic acid and vitamins may also be taken.