In its most basic definition, a “high-risk pregnancy” is one that threatens the life of the mother or the fetus. While early and regular prenatal medical care can promote a healthy delivery without complications, certain women are at a higher risk for complications through no fault of their own. These include women with pre-existing health conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes or who are HIV positive. Complications are also more likely in women who are over 35 or under 18, who are obese or who are carrying more than one fetus.
The physicians at San Francisco Women’s Healthcare specialize in treating women who are experiencing high-risk pregnancies. They provide their patients with individual warning signs, symptoms to look for, and instructions on ways to manage their health and the health of their fetus. Should a patient experience any sudden change in their health or well-being, contact their office immediately.
The symptoms associated with high-risk pregnancy are treated individually. For women with high blood pressure, changes to the patient’s medication may be necessary to protect the fetus, along with dietary restrictions limiting salt intake and getting regular exercise. Pregnant women with diabetes, whether Type 1 diabetes or gestational diabetes, may be directed to keep their blood sugar under control, exercise, maintain a healthy weight, and eat a healthy diet. Women who are at risk of miscarrying, who are over 35 or under 18 may be instructed to visit their physician more frequently, especially in the latter parts of their pregnancy, to ensure the fetus is developing properly and the mother is not experiencing distress. A woman who has been diagnosed with a high-risk pregnancy has a greater likelihood of delivering a healthy baby when she follows her physician’s instructions.