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Safety Tips for High-Risk Pregnancies

Nearly 3.8 million babies are born each year in the United States. Most women have normal, full-term pregnancies with few complications. But up to 8% of pregnancies are considered high risk.

A high-risk pregnancy is identified when the mother’s health or her baby is at risk of complications at any point during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. Some women have low-risk pregnancies at first, and develop a condition like gestational diabetes during the pregnancy. Other women have high-risk pregnancies from the start, based on their age or other factors.

Having a high-risk pregnancy can be intimidating and scary, but  Wanda Torres, MD, FACOG, and our OB/GYN team at Suncoast Women's Care offer women the best in high-risk pregnancy care. If you’re pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, take the time to learn about your risk factors.

With these tips, you can reduce your risk for complications during pregnancy or have a healthy delivery even if your pregnancy has been identified as high risk.

Recognize common causes of high-risk pregnancy

A high-risk pregnancy brings complications that can put the mother’s health or the baby’s in danger. Women over the age of 35 are more likely to develop complications during pregnancy. Women pregnant with multiples, like twins or triplets, are generally at a higher risk as well.

While some risk factors like maternal age are present from conception, while other complications can develop along the way. Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy.  Other conditions that can cause high-risk complications are preeclampsia, placenta previa, and irregular fetal development. 

Our team evaluates your unique risk factors during your prenatal appointments, so you know how to care for yourself and your baby. If you show signs of any of these conditions, we’re here to develop a treatment plan to reduce your risk of additional complications or preterm delivery.

Manage pre-existing conditions

Your health before you get pregnant influences your health during pregnancy. If you have a chronic health condition like diabetes, for example, it can make it more likely that you’ll experience complications during pregnancy.

Common conditions that can impact your risk of complications during pregnancy include:

Taking steps to manage any pre-existing health conditions you have, both before and during pregnancy, can reduce your risk of complications. If you’re overweight, reaching a healthy weight before you get pregnant can reduce your risk of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and stillbirth.

When necessary, our team can help you find a combination of pregnancy-safe medications and lifestyle changes to manage common conditions to set you up for a healthier pregnancy and birth.

Go to all of your prenatal appointments

Prenatal appointments are important for all pregnant women, but women with high-risk pregnancies may need additional monitoring and specialized testing. We tailor your prenatal appointments to meet your needs and prepare you for a healthy delivery.

Dr. Torres and our team check your vital signs and monitor your baby’s growth at every appointment. Women with high-risk pregnancies may benefit from more frequent ultrasounds and genetic testing.

Regular appointments help us track your progress and identify any potential issues, like gestational diabetes or preeclampsia, as early as possible. If your pregnancy becomes higher risk at any time, we’re here to develop a treatment plan that helps keep you and your baby as healthy as possible.

Call the doctor if you notice changes

Whether or not your pregnancy is high risk, it’s important to recognize signs that could indicate something’s not right. Signs of complications during pregnancy can include bleeding and abdominal cramps. 

Suddenly noticing less fetal activity, experiencing contractions before 37 weeks, or suffering severe headaches can also indicate pregnancy complications. If you notice any of these changes, contact your doctor immediately. In the case of severe cramping and heavy bleeding, visit the emergency room or call 911.

A high-risk pregnancy can bring a unique set of challenges, but Suncoast Women’s Care is here to partner with you throughout pregnancy, labor, and delivery. 

Learn more about having your healthiest possible pregnancy by calling 727-230-9508 or by requesting an appointment using our online booking feature. You can also send a message to Dr. Torres and the team here on our website.

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