High Risk Pregnancies
Helps You Manage High-Risk Pregnancy
At your first visit, we will ask many questions to determine if you may experience a high-risk pregnancy. Once we have discussed your lifestyle and health history, we will evaluate which tests may be necessary to further determine your risk. These tests may include genetic testing, blood testing and an in-depth review of family history. If you have already experienced a high-risk pregnancy, please let us know at your visit.
Who is Most At Risk for Experiencing a High-Risk Pregnancy
- Women who have had multiple miscarriages
- Women who have experienced an ectopic pregnancy
- Women who are over age 35
- Women with certain cancers or genetic health concerns
- Overweight women
- Women with high blood pressure or diabetes
Health Concerns That Constitute High-Risk Pregnancy
Because insulin resistance can develop around the 24th week of pregnancy, it is said that many pregnant women experience gestational diabetes. This means your body is not able to make and use all of the insulin it needs during pregnancy. We will perform blood tests to determine if you are at risk for or are suffering from gestational diabetes.
Fluctuating insulin levels can affect your blood pressure, causing it to rise. This rise can lead to a condition referred to as preeclampsia. When gestational diabetes is left unchecked, this situation may occur. If you are suffering from gestational diabetes, we will monitor your blood glucose levels throughout your pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes can also affect the baby adversely. While insulin does not cross into the placenta, glucose does. This will signal the pancreas to work overtime converting the extra insulin to fat, causing your baby to grow at an usually high rate. Babies who are born with excess insulin are at risk for developing obesity and type 2 diabetes. In addition to diet and exercise, medication may be prescribed in some cases of gestational diabetes.
Preeclampsia & eclampsia
Both preeclampsia and eclampsia are conditions that take place in the second half of pregnancy that indicate worsening blood pressure. High blood pressure is especially dangerous during pregnancy because it can interfere with fetal oxygen and nutrition delivery. The risk to you is that it may cause an overload on the kidneys, anemia and excessive bleeding during pregnancy, potentially causing a stressful and difficult birth. The placenta may also break from the uterine wall, causing further bleeding.
Other Considerations That May Cause High-Risk Pregnancy
Autoimmune issues, thyroid health, HIV/AIDS and obesity are other health concerns that may cause high-risk pregnancy. Because cellular damage of the immune system may already be affecting a woman, she may have a more difficult time fighting off infections and conferring immunity to her baby. Metabolic issues related to obesity and thyroid health may occur, such as diabetes.
With regular check ups we strive to prevent, diagnose, and treat health concerns that may increase your chances of high-risk pregnancy. When high-risk pregnancy does occur, we understand it can be stressful. We will do our best to minimize your anxiety to help you bring a healthy baby into the world!