According to studies, 6 to 8 percent of all pregnancies may lead to high-risk complications. Pregnancy complications may occur due to previously existing medical issues or ailments or may also arise at times in perfectly healthy women. While certain issues are unavoidable, one can work to minimize these problems for a healthy pregnancy.
All pregnancy journeys are different. Some mothers may develop complications such as gestational diabetes or preeclampsia mid-way through the pregnancy. Other cases may start as high-risk pregnancies, and all such women require special medical care.
Some common unavoidable factors that contribute to high-risk pregnancies include carrying multiples, diabetes, and certain other pre-existing health conditions. By following a healthy diet and exercise routine, minimizing stress, and listening to your doctor, one can minimize the risk associated with such pregnancies. Reducing pregnancy and birth complications requires a combination of proper prenatal care and healthy lifestyle habits.
Proper care in the last trimester of pregnancy, including birthing exercises, may also reduce the risk of birth injuries. However, despite preventive measures and care, rare cases of childbirth injury may occur. It is not the end of the world, and there is still a world of possibilities for your child. You can even file a malpractice claim if the injury was due to medical negligence. Resources such as childbirthinjuries.com have multiple guides and a lot of information on childbirth injuries, how to help your kid through the journey, and much more to help you better understand childbirth injuries.
All this may seem too daunting. However, that is precisely why we have compiled six key factors that can help you reduce pregnancy risks for a healthy and comfortable pregnancy.
1. Early and Regular Prenatal Care
It is important to see your doctor early in your pregnancy and to attend all scheduled appointments with your OB-GYN. These check-ups allow your doctor to regularly monitor your and your baby’s health and track their growth. Regular check-ups are crucial for the early identification of potential problems that may arise.
Considering all this, ensure your medical professional is qualified enough to oversee your case. Question your doula, midwife, nurse, or doctor on how they address birth complications should they arise during the delivery. In case of an existing chronic health condition, do ask them if they have had experience dealing with such cases before.
2. Manage Pre-existing health conditions
Individuals with chronic health conditions are always at a higher risk of birth complications. If you have a chronic health condition such as high blood pressure or diabetes, you must talk to your doctor about how to manage them during pregnancy since you might not be able to take certain medications. Additionally, these health issues may be detrimental to the health of your fetus. Some common conditions that may be harmful to your pregnancy if not controlled properly include high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), HIV, and autoimmune diseases such as lupus or multiple sclerosis.
Pregnancy is not your run-of-the-mill task. It takes a toll on your body and mind, so you must make some lifestyle and mindset changes for optimum health. Exercise regularly and stay active. This will help in keeping blood sugar levels low and your weight controlled. Some yoga and stretching will do wonders too. Eat a healthy diet and keep stress and hypertension at a minimum.
3. Take Prenatal Supplements
While you are pregnant, your body is undergoing significant changes—certain essential nutrients are required to ensure your health. Using available prenatal supplements is a good way of ensuring you and your unborn child get all the required minerals for a healthy beginning. Calcium, folic acid, iron, and protein are minerals you generally don’t have enough of in your routine diet. Choosing a supplement that incorporates all these essential minerals is highly recommended.
Doctors also recommend continuing supplements after your baby is born if you intend to breastfeed. Consult your doctor before starting a supplement course. Be sure to check for allergies before getting your prescription.
4. Monitor your weight
The concept of pregnant women eating for two people is a myth. Despite popular belief, you only need to gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy to maintain nutritional support for your child and yourself. However, these figures are not written in stone as each women’s weight gain journey is different and may include several factors. The best approach is to keep track of your weight and keep your doctor updated so that any excessive gain may be pointed out.
5. Avoid Teratogenic Substances
Teratogenic substances refer to alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and similar substances. All these can severally harm your child and your pregnancy. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum disorder that leads to birth defects.
Smoking and drug abuse can lead to adverse results from childbirth complexities to miscarriages and genetic abnormalities in the baby. Before taking any prescription or medication, always consult your doctor.
6. Visit your doctor before getting pregnant
Visit your doctor before planning your pregnancy. Discuss your current body conditions and what you can do to make the journey easier. You should be thoroughly informed of all the changes your body will go through and any chronic illnesses that may be an issue. Also, discuss your current weight. Your body should not be too obese or too underweight. Maintain a healthy weight before getting pregnant to minimize any potential issues that may arise later.
Lastly, ask your doctor for risks that come with an older maternal age pregnancy, if applicable. You can even study trusted handbooks or visit sites to keep yourself updated.
Pregnancy is usually a time of joy in a woman’s life, and most women experience a normal pregnancy with minimum to no complications. However, knowledge is power, and it would be best to know about any potential risks or complications that may occur during or after your pregnancy. Staying informed will help you make smart and healthy choices for yourself and your baby. It is always best to start a healthy routine when you are trying to conceive so that there is a lower risk of complications once you receive that positive test.