Learning that your pregnancy is considered “high risk” is enough to put any mother on edge. While the term rightfully sounds scary, most high-risk pregnancies result in happy, healthy babies and moms, so long as you get proper medical treatment and take good care of yourself along the way.
A high-risk pregnancy is defined as one that threatens the health or life of the mother or her baby. According to the University of California San Francisco, 6-8% of all pregnancies in the United States include some form of high-risk complication. Some pregnancies are high-risk from the start, while others develop into high-risk as they progress.
Common high-risk pregnancy factors include:
- Age (Teens and 35+) – Pregnancy-related high blood pressure is more likely to develop in teens and women pregnant for the first time past age 35. Anemia and premature delivery are also more common in teens. Gestational diabetes, ectopic pregnancy, delivery complications and genetic disorders more frequently affect pregnancies for women 35+
- Existing Health Issues – High blood pressure, diabetes, heart conditions, breathing problems, infections, blood-clotting disorders and some sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Lifestyle – Smoking cigarettes or other tobacco products, drinking alcohol, using illegal drugs or taking legal drugs without proper monitoring
- Multiples – Carrying twins or more babies at the same time
- Pregnancy Complications – Including, but not limited to, abnormal placenta position, fetal growth restriction and Rh (rhesus) sensitization
- Previous Reproductive Surgery – Multiple C-sections, lower abdominal surgeries or surgery for uterine tumors (fibroids)
Steps to protect your baby and yourself:
If you have any reason to believe you may be pregnant, and you have factors that could contribute to a high-risk pregnancy, the first thing to do is to get a medical pregnancy test. Knowing for certain if you are pregnant will allow you to seek out early and regular prenatal care.
A medical professional (most often an OB-GYN, midwife or nurse) will evaluate your medical history, lifestyle and current condition to develop a personalized prenatal care plan. An effective prenatal care plan will include regular doctor visits, health monitoring, ultrasounds, monitoring the baby’s heart rate and more, as well as care and testing specific to your risk factors.
At Sira in Gainesville, we offer free medical pregnancy testing for any woman, with no insurance required. Our tests are completely confidential and performed by a medical professional.
Contact Sira today at 352-377-4947 to schedule your test.