You are thinking about conceiving or have just discovered unexpectedly that you’re pregnant. Being pregnant is exciting, scary and a whole host of other emotions. But there is more to consider when it comes to getting pregnant; there is the understanding that sometimes pregnancy can be high risk.
What Does it Mean to be a High Risk Pregnant Mother?
A woman with underlying conditions can categorize her pregnancy as being a high risk to either her or the baby. Examples of underlying chronic conditions that can be concerns for a pregnant woman include diabetes, high blood pressure, epilepsy, anemia, an infection or an underlying mental health condition.
High risk pregnancies can result in injury to the mother or her baby. One such injury to the baby is a condition called Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE). HIE is a neonatal birth injury caused by oxygen deprivation and limited blood flow to the baby’s brain at or near the time of birth. You can learn more about HIE at the HIE Help Center. You can learn how to prevent HIE by reading Preventing Oxygen Deprivation In A Baby.
Another injury that can happen to your baby is something called Brachial plexus birth palsy. In this disorder, a network of nerves that send signals to your baby’s shoulders and arms are injured if a newborn’s shoulders get stuck during delivery. This specific palsy occurs in about one to three out of every 1,000 births. To learn more about this palsy, you can view this YouTube video by Dr. Mark Adamczyk, a co-director of the Brachial Plexus Treatment Center at Akron Children’s Hospital.
If you’ve already been told that you are a “high risk,” you’ll most likely need a maternal/fetal medicine specialist — a doctor who specializes in treating high risk mothers.
Getting Pregnant and High Risk Pregnancy
According to Reuters, one out of every six couples struggle to get pregnant. Stress definitely affects a woman’s ability to get pregnant. However, there are also various physical conditions that can make getting pregnant challenging.
Of course, there is the high risk age factor, too. Research shows that women 35 years and older experience infertility struggles. In 1991, when I suddenly and very unexpectedly found myself pregnant, I was already 38. I knew about the high risk age factor and I worried about having a baby at that age.
I was literally shocked to discover I was pregnant. About 12 years prior to discovering I was pregnant again, I had already had a tubal ligation. It was done under a local anesthesia and the surgeon showed me the pieces he cut out. He then cauterized and sewed the tubes shut. You would think that would be the final word on me ever getting pregnant again, right? Well, it wasn’t. Why didn’t I want to get pregnant again? You can read that story here if you’d really like to know.
Common Causes of High Risk Pregnancy
Commonly, uncontrolled gestational diabetes can increase the risk for preterm labor and delivery, preeclampsia, and high blood pressure. A syndrome affecting some pregnant women after their 20th week of pregnancy, preeclampsia occurs when a mother experiences a sudden blood pressure increase. Because pregnancy can be an unpredictable roller coaster ride, it is vital to make sure you are followed by a medical professional when you are pregnant.
Clinical Studies Bring Hope
A wonderful resource through University Hospitals can bring you peace of mind and hope for a healthy pregnancy and health issues generally. Because medical advances happen regularly, it might be beneficial to research the latest results published by University Hospital’s clinical trials. By developing a relationship with highly trained medical professionals, you never know what new idea can apply to your high risk pregnancy.