Managing High-Risk Pregnancy: Risk Factors and Minimising Complications

What is a high-risk pregnancy?

Any pregnancy that poses increased risks for the mother, foetus, or both is considered a "high-risk" pregnancy. Women with a high-risk pregnancy usually require additional care before, during, and after the birth.

What are the risk factors for a high-risk pregnancy?

Below are the risk factors for a high-risk pregnancy.

  1. Having pre-existing health conditions like diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), thyroid disease, HIV/AIDS, and blood disorders.
  2. Having health conditions specific to pregnancy like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and eclampsia, multiple gestations (pregnant with twins or triplets), and a history of preterm birth.
  3. Lifestyle choices are also considered a risk factor. If a pregnant woman smokes, consumes alcohol, or uses recreational drugs, it may affect the baby. 
  4. Maternal age is also a risk factor. Pregnancy in women over 35 years of age or teenagers is considered as high risk.

How to reduce the risk of high-risk pregnancy complications?

If you are categorised as having a high-risk pregnancy, there are measures you can take to reduce the risk of pregnancy complications while taking care of the well-being of your unborn child and yourself.

  1. Schedule a preconception visit with your doctor: Before getting pregnant, consult with your healthcare provider to address any pre-existing health conditions and develop a plan for a healthier pregnancy.
  2. Find out all you can about high-risk pregnancy: Educate yourself about high-risk pregnancy, its implications, and the necessary precautions.
  3. Attend all your prenatal appointments: Regularly attend your prenatal check-ups to allow your healthcare provider to closely monitor your pregnancy and address any concerns promptly.
  4. Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Strive to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Achieve the recommended weight gain and stay physically active if it is safe for you to do so.
  5. Seek support from your partner, family, and friends: Lean on your loved ones for assistance and emotional support and prioritise your emotional well-being.

Can a high-risk pregnancy affect labour?

A high-risk pregnancy can lead to complications during labour. A hospital would be the best option for delivery as there are necessary equipment and personnel to monitor the process and intervene in case of a complication.

Moreover, if you are expecting multiple babies, you have a higher likelihood of experiencing early labour, especially in high-risk pregnancies. Preterm labour is common in high-risk pregnancies and may be triggered by factors like excessive amniotic fluid or underlying medical conditions.

In some cases, a vaginal delivery may be risky, leading to the need for a caesarean section. It is strongly recommended to discuss with your doctor to gain insight into what to expect during labour, mentally prepare yourself, and become well-informed about the possible situations that could unfold.

Make an appointment at Pantai Hospitals

Each pregnancy is unique. Regular prenatal appointments and open communication with your doctor are crucial for monitoring your health and addressing any concerns throughout pregnancy.

A dedicated and expert team of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists at Pantai Hospital is available for consultation to provide patients with the best care and assistance. Get in touch with us to book an appointment today if you have any questions about gestational diabetes in pregnancy.

Pantai Hospital has been accredited by the Malaysian Society for Quality in Health (MSQH) for its commitment to patient safety and service quality.

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