High Risk Pregnancies

High Risk Pregnancies

5 Causes of High-Risk Pregnancy

While most pregnancies proceed normally during the nine-month period of gestation, a small percentage are considered to be high-risk pregnancies either at the beginning or sometime during the prenatal period. There are various causes of pregnancies with complications. Carefully monitored with appropriate treatment by a pregnancy specialist doctor, however, most mothers experience good outcomes. Here are some of the contributing factors to pregnancies that need close monitoring.

Chronic illness.

A pregnant woman is is actively being evaluated or treated for a chronic disease like diabetes, HIV, or cystic fibrosis usually requires extra medical surveillance. A disease that is currently in remission such as cancer may not pose an immediate threat to the pregnancy, but the attending doctor may want to keep a close eye on her anyway.

Weight issues.

Obesity and anorexia are two potentially serious weight issues that can pose special challenges to a pregnancy. Women need a nutritious diet during this time to feed their babies as well as themselves. Significantly overweight women may have problems with mobility and circulation, while underweight women might not produce the hormones necessary to sustain a healthy pregnancy.

Incompetent cervix.

Sometimes a woman’s cervix may not remain closed as it should during pregnancy. The weight of a growing infant and increasing placenta could push the cervix open, leading to a miscarriage. Treatments include a cerclage, or sewing the cervix shut until it’s time for the baby to be born. Depending on circumstances, doctor’s orders may include temporary or permanent bed rest.

High blood pressure.

Although some women struggle with low blood pressure, a more common problem is elevated blood pressure. This can lead to risks that include strokes, if not monitored and controlled, due in part to the mother’s changing circulatory system during pregnancy.

Previous miscarriages or stillbirths.

Women with a history of prior miscarriages or preterm births are sometimes considered to be high risk obstetric patients. The OB specialist will probably order tests to try and determine the cause of those previous losses and address the problem early in the current pregnancy.

These and other reasons can lead to a high-risk pregnancy that requires added medical attention and monitoring. Quality prenatal care can usually address problems like these to help women sustain healthy pregnancies and births.


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