HEALTH

7 Do’s And Don’ts During High-Risk Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful experiences in a human’s life. As enthralling as it is, it can also be overwhelming because of the risks associated with it. Many newly pregnant couples find themselves brimming with concern, wondering if their pregnancy is considered “high-risk” and, if yes, then how to manage it.

The term “high-risk” instinctively sets off an alarm in our brains; however, most “high-risk pregnancies” have minor to no problems at all. The key to a smooth-sailing pregnancy lies in making specific lifestyle changes depending on your current health status to keep your pregnancy risks to a minimum.

From years of experience being high-risk pregnancy doctors in Ahmedabad, we have put together this comprehensive guide on dos and don’ts.

Let us dissect what it means to have a high-risk pregnancy and how to manage it effectively to maintain your and your baby’s optimum health.

What Is A High-Risk Pregnancy?

First things first, you may catch yourself wondering what it means to have a high-risk pregnancy. A pregnancy is considered high-risk if the pregnant woman:

  • Is age 17 or younger
  • Is age 35 or older
  • Has a history of obesity or was underweight before pregnancy
  • Is pregnant with multiples
  • Suffers from chronic, autoimmune, or mental health issues
  • Suffers from genetic disorders or has had previous failed pregnancies
  • Consumes illegal drugs, has an alcohol addiction or nicotine addiction

If you fall into any of the categories mentioned above, you must work closely with your doctor or medical care team to manage potential health complications effectively.

Various other factors play a vital role in determining the course of your pregnancy, such as your age, medical history, and even your geographical location.

Your Medical History

Autoimmune diseases such as diabetes type 2 and high blood pressure have been associated with a high-risk pregnancy. Conditions such as HIV/AIDS can not only put your pregnancy under the high-risk category but have a high chance of transmission to the baby.

You need to consult your doctor and follow their prenatal suggestions to the T to avoid any complications in your pregnancy down the line.

Your Age

Age-related factors are detrimental to the risk level of your pregnancy. 

Teenage pregnancies are at a higher risk of suffering from a sexually transmitted disease (STD), leading to high blood pressure and anemia during the pregnancy, causing complications.

Similarly, women over the age of 35 going through their first pregnancy are likely to have 20 hours or more prolonged labor, increasing the chances of genetic disorders, miscarriages, ectopic delivery, or death due to excessive bleeding.

Your Lifestyle Choices

While the ill effects of tobacco use, alcohol, drug, and other substance abuse is a well-known fact, it needs to be heeded when planning a pregnancy to minimize the set of problems it triggers.

The Do’s

Sleep Your Woes Away

Sleep is essential for the smooth functioning of the human body; it helps restore our energy levels and helps manage stress effectively. This is especially true for pregnant women since sleep doesn’t come easy for the pregnant. 

The constant tossing and turning all night with the added bloating, cravings, and hormones rushing through your body make it unmanageable to get quality sleep. Your body undergoes many changes ranging from hormonal changes to water retention and blood flow, making it more challenging to get quality sleep.

An excellent way to avoid exhaustion is taking quick naps whenever your body allows you to instead of waiting for a good night’s sleep. Try to attain 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep-aiding your immune system and brain function, even if it means taking small naps throughout the day.

Exercise To Stay Physically Fit

Your physical fitness is directly linked to your baby’s health and determines the course of your pregnancy. Various studies have shown a link between physical fitness and the prevention of gestational diabetes, stress relief, and increased stamina.

Regular exercise helps relieve muscle pain, excessive weight gain during pregnancy and releases “happy hormones,” enabling you to enjoy your pregnancy to the fullest. 

You don’t need to be a gym rat; consult your doctor so they can chart out where and how you can incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

Practice Yoga

Bloating and muscle soreness is a common complaint during pregnancy. Practicing yoga can help you stretch muscles and strengthen your body, especially your abdominal muscles.

It can help in relieving pregnancy-induced aches and pains and facilitate better sleeping habits.

It is crucial not to go overboard and avoid hot yoga or intensive yoga sessions that increase body temperature, which may do more harm than good.

Incorporate Healthy Eating Habits

While the old saying “Eating for two” during pregnancy holds some premise, it doesn’t necessarily mean doubling your portion. Gaining weight by eating unideal foods during pregnancy can lead to health complications, especially for people prone to obesity or diabetes.

Consume whole grains, lean meats, fruits, and leafy greens while avoiding sugary drinks and processed foods. Try including food rich in omega3 fatty acids, zinc, iron, and other minerals.

Consume Vitamins

Consider eating properly cooked seafood once a week to tick all your mineral and vitamin needs. Being on top of your vitamins and minerals not only strengthens your immune system but provides healthy nutrients to your baby as well.

You can opt for prenatal vitamins containing essential nutrients such as folic acid, calcium, and iron that have proven effective in preventing congenital disabilities and aiding fetus development.

Please consult your doctor to assess your body’s needs and follow their recommended doses to avoid adverse reactions caused by an overdose.

Address Mental Health Concerns 

If you are dealing with mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, it would be good to consult your OB/GYN for recommendations on how to manage the symptoms.

It is important to remember that you are not alone, and help is readily available to mitigate the ill effects of mental health issues that can hamper one’s daily life activities.

Have a Support System 

Having a support system is essential in implementing the lifestyle changes recommended by your OB/GYN. Friends and family members can help you calm your nerves while struggling to cut back on specific activities and communicate your needs.

It is equally important to have a team of medical professionals that you can rely on to reduce the stress caused by the uncertainty of your pregnancy.

If you are categorized as a high-risk pregnancy, you can try joining support groups to take inspiration from other people going through the same situation as you.

The Don’ts

Quit Nicotine Products

Smoking puts your unborn baby susceptible to health problems such as preterm birth, low birth weight, and other congenital disabilities. It increases the risk of miscarriage and sudden infant death syndrome.

Nicotine has been shown to damage a developing baby’s brain and lungs. It is crucial to quit smoking, especially during your pregnancy.

Curb Alcohol Consumption

There is no certainty in the quantity of alcohol that is safe for consumption during pregnancy; Alcohol has been associated with hampering a baby’s development or causing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), leading to various congenital disabilities and patterns in slow growth and development.

Avoid Raw or Deli Meat

Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by bacteria often found in raw or uncooked meat. Cold cured meat such as salami, chorizo, or prosciutto may contain the bacteria too. 

While it is usually harmless in non-pregnant people, it may lead to miscarriages, stillbirth, or damage to the baby’s organs.

It is vital to stick to a healthy meal plan and maintain a healthy, nutrient-rich diet.

Stay Away From Heat

Hot tubs and saunas induce a soothing sensation in tired and inflamed muscles. While that sounds amazing, it is less than ideal for pregnant women since it causes their body temperatures to rise above 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit, resulting in brain or spinal cord defects in the fetus when exposed for extended periods.

Avoid places that tend to increase your body temperature and if you choose to use a hot tub, consult your doctor to find best practices and ways to do so.

Relax!

Keep in mind that the number one factor that complicates high-risk pregnancies is stressing about things that may go wrong. 

Relax and keep anxiety-provoking thoughts at bay by discussing your concerns with your doctor. Our staff is highly compassionate and empathetic to our patients, helping you every step of the way.

Heed To Your Body 

Your body is the source of wisdom you seek. Slow down and listen to what your body tells you. Communicate and acknowledge your body, listen to the symptoms it shows and allow yourself to rest.

Remember, even when you sleep, your organs work overtime, especially during pregnancy, helping your fetus develop. This can cause low energy levels needing to rest more than usual. And if you suspect something to be wrong, consult your OB/GYN to address your concerns at the earliest.

Engage In Activities That Reduce Stress

It is vital to have an outlet that reduces stress and anxious feelings, especially when pregnant. Despite how serious things may feel, breathe and take care of yourself.

You can take a walk with a trusting friend, meditate or opt for art therapy. Remember taking care of yourself is the only way you can take care of your fetus. Engaging in calming activities would help take pressure off your worries and anticipation.

Conclusion

When thinking of a pregnancy, no one wishes to deal with health complications that endanger your or your child’s life. However, even if your pregnancy falls under the “high-risk pregnancy” category, being informed and proactive is the key to managing it successfully.

This quick guide helps you get rid of early jitters and puts an end to misconceptions surrounding high-risk pregnancies. The team at Rathi Hospital delivers thousands of high-risk pregnancies successfully all around the year.

Under our expert guidance and professional doctor’s care, we assure healthy and happy babies offering consultation with specialists and addressing your doubts every step of the way.

To know more, consult the best High-risk pregnancy doctor in Ahmedabad.