It can be scary hearing the words "high risk" when it comes to your pregnancy. But factors like your weight, overall health, age, and family history can cause unwanted hiccups along the way. Fortunately, you can still have a safe and healthy pregnancy with the right care — even when you have a high-risk pregnancy.
At Advanced Women's Healthcare in Bloomington, Illinois, our compassionate OB/GYN specialists are here for you every step of the way throughout your pregnancy. From the very beginning, we can monitor the health of you and your baby, taking any steps needed to protect you both.
Whether you already received specific instructions about your risks or are classified as high risk because of general factors, you can take steps to protect the health of you and your baby. The first thing you can do to help you and your baby stay safe is learn to recognize dangerous conditions so you know when to call your doctor.
Don’t ignore extreme morning sickness
Most women expect to have morning sickness during pregnancy. But if your symptoms go beyond mild nausea and the occasional bout of vomiting, you can become dehydrated from hyperemesis gravidarum. If you can’t keep food or water down, let us know right away. You could require specialized care for your nutrition and hydration needs.
Watch for signs of anemia
When you're anemic, your baby can be, too. The most common signs of anemia include extreme fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, leg cramps, and insomnia. Our team can test you and your baby so you can receive any needed treatment.
Get screening tests as suggested by your doctor
At Advanced Women's Healthcare, we might recommend having multiple ultrasounds during a high-risk pregnancy to help protect you and your baby. If we see anything concerning, we could suggest an amniocentesis. This test involves taking a sample of fluid around the baby in the womb to confirm any conditions.
Talk to your family about their medical history
Some conditions run in families, like sickle cell disease or muscular dystrophy. If you or your partner’s family have a history of these conditions, knowing in advance can help determine if your baby might be affected. When you have a family history of certain medical conditions, we often recommend testing the placenta through a screening known as chorionic villus sampling.
Recognize the signs of premature labor
When you start to go into labor too early, you can experience symptoms like cramping in your lower belly or your lower back, along with spotting blood. If this occurs, we can often help stop your labor by administering a specialized medication, possibly recommending a cervical cerclage to close your cervix, and putting you on bed rest. All of these steps help keep your baby in place for as long as possible so they can continue developing.
Steps you can take to have a healthy pregnancy
Whether your pregnancy is high risk or normal, the best way to have the healthiest baby possible is seeing your Advanced Women’s Healthcare provider as soon as you know you’re pregnant. Undergoing preconception counseling and routine prenatal care can help protect both you and your baby over the months to come.
Additional steps that support a healthy pregnancy include:
- Taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Receiving recommended immunizations
- Monitoring your blood pressure
- Avoiding alcohol and smoking
- Eating a healthy diet
- Exercising regularly
If you have a high-risk pregnancy, you're not alone. Thousands of women safely navigate these pregnancies each year and deliver babies without any complications. At Advanced Women's Healthcare, our team is committed to keeping you and your baby strong and healthy. Call our office at 309-808-3068 or request a consultation online today.