Discovering you are pregnant is one of the most exciting events in a woman’s life. However, if you have been diagnosed with a high-risk pregnancy, it can also be worrisome and stressful.
Simply put, a pregnancy is considered high-risk when there is a considerable threat of health problems to a woman or her unborn baby during pregnancy or delivery.
Let’s talk about some of the main things that can cause a pregnancy to be high-risk, how it can be treated and even possibly prevented, and where you can go here in Chicagoland for outstanding gynecological and obstetrical care.
Causes of High-Risk Pregnancy
There are many factors that can make your pregnancy high-risk, including the following:
- Your age – If you are under the age of 17 or over the age of 35, you are at a greater risk of having a high-risk pregnancy than are women who are between those ages.
- Your lifestyle – If you indulge in activities such as smoking, drinking alcohol, or using drugs during pregnancy, it can have adverse effects on your baby after birth.
- Medicines – Ask your OB/GYN before taking any kind of medicine during your pregnancy, including over-the-counter medications. These can have harmful effects on your baby, such as heart defects.
- Any existing health conditions – You can develop a high-risk pregnancy if you have any of the following:
Certain pregnancy-specific health factors or conditions
– These include:
- Gestational diabetes (when a woman develops diabetes during pregnancy)
- Multiple gestations (two or more fetuses in the womb)
- Preeclampsia (when a woman develops high blood pressure after the 20th week of pregnancy)
- Eclampsia (severe preeclampsia)
- Previous preterm birth (when a woman has previously given birth before her 37th week of pregnancy)
How a High-Risk Pregnancy Can Be Treated
The good news is that some factors which can lead to a high-risk pregnancy can be treated by your obstetrician, especially if the problems are detected early. Gestational diabetes, for example, can be controlled by making certain changes in your diet as prescribed by your OB/GYN.
Regular prenatal visits and health screenings, such as ultrasounds and lab tests, can help your healthcare provider monitor your health and your baby’s health. If necessary, your OB/GYN can refer you to a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine, genetics, pediatrics, or other areas.
What You Can Do to Prevent a High-Risk Pregnancy
Before you become pregnant, your OB/GYN may recommend that you address any existing health conditions or lifestyle factors. That may include losing excess weight, taking steps to lower your blood pressure, or quitting smoking.
If there are people around you who add stress to your environment, then you need to try to not allow them into your realm until well after the baby is born. Some people mean well, but they exude stress – and that is something which you need to quell as much as possible during this time. Severe stress can negatively impact a pregnancy.
Prenatal Care for High-Risk Pregnancy in Greater Chicago
At Aishling Obstetrics & Gynecology, we offer world-class, patient-centered obstetric care right here in the western suburbs of Chicago. We have convenient locations in Sandwich, Yorkville, Plainfield, and Aurora, Illinois.
Our board-certified OB/GYN physicians have the diagnostic tools and expertise to determine whether you have any of the factors associated with a high-risk pregnancy, and we can help you achieve a healthy outcome for you and your baby. Our advanced prenatal care for high-risk obstetric patients includes electronic fetal monitoring, maternal and fetal testing, and consultations with a maternal-fetal specialist.
Our medical staff is affiliated with Presence Mercy Medical Center, Rush Copley Medical Center, Valley West Community Hospital, and Edward Hospital – providing you with a full range of gynecological, surgical, and obstetrical services across our area. To schedule a consultation with one of our dedicated and compassionate physicians, call us today at (815) 786-1088 or fill out our online contact form here. We look forward to helping you have a healthy pregnancy!