You’ve been classified as a high-risk pregnancy, and your mind starts racing. Before you wander off into worst-case scenarios, consider this: 20-30% of all pregnancies are high risk.
Our obstetrics team’s goals here at Associates in Obstetrics & Gynecology, under the direction of Dr. Jack Tubbs, are fully aligned with yours — a smooth pregnancy and successful outcome. Often, when we classify your pregnancy as high risk, it’s to stay close to those goals by practicing an abundance of caution.
Here’s a look at why your pregnancy may be high risk and how you can prepare.
Common factors for high-risk pregnancies
There are many reasons why a pregnancy may be deemed high risk, including:
- Advanced maternal age (35 or older)
- Young maternal age (teens)
- Carrying multiple babies
- Previous pregnancy problems, including miscarriages
- Pre-existing health factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or obesity
- Lifestyle habits, such as alcohol, drug, or tobacco use
While we’re often able to determine these risks as you embark on your pregnancy, some pregnancies turn high risk due to complications like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
Mitigating your risks
If there’s a risk factor that we can control, that’s one of the best places to start when it comes to a high-risk pregnancy. For example, quitting any dangerous lifestyle habits will go a long way toward safeguarding the health of your baby, not to mention your own health.
As well, managing any pre-existing condition you may have is paramount. As an example, if you have diabetes, we can do our part to monitor your pregnancy, but you need to do yours by keeping your glucose levels regulated.
What to expect during your high-risk pregnancy
If your high-risk pregnancy is due to factors that are beyond your control, you might prepare yourself for a little extra care. In many cases, we err on the side of caution and may increase your prenatal appointments so that we can monitor you more closely.
As well, we may order extra testing, including:
- Lab tests (blood, urine, etc.)
- Fetal heart rate checks
- Genetic testing, including amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling
- Fetal echocardiogram
- Prenatal cell-free DNA screening
Each high-risk pregnancy is different, and we tailor your testing and screening to your unique situation. Rest assured, we thoroughly explain the reasoning behind each test and keep you informed every step of the way. You can do your part by sticking to the prenatal schedule we create, which gives you peace of mind knowing that we’re tracking your pregnancy closely.
The bottom line is that a high-risk pregnancy isn’t necessarily cause for panic. Instead, prepare yourself for a little extra care so that we can work together toward a successful outcome.
If you have more questions about what to expect during a high-risk pregnancy, contact our office in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to speak with one of our obstetrics specialists.