Risk Factors for Complications During Pregnancy
Every pregnancy comes with certain risks, but some factors can increase the risk of complications during pregnancy. However, with proper prenatal care and aid from a high risk Pregnancy Hospital in Chandigarh, these risks can be minimised to a great extent.
Following are some risk factors for complications during pregnancy:
- Age: Women under the age of 20 and over the age of 35 are at an increased risk of complications during pregnancy.
Women under the age of 20 may give premature birth, have a baby with low birth weight, develop preeclampsia, and undergo pregnancy-induced hypertension. Teenage mothers are more likely to have a high-risk pregnancy due to factors such as nutritional deficiencies, underdeveloped pelvis, high blood pressure in pregnancy, etc.
Women over the age of 35 either have fewer chances to conceive or are at a higher risk of having complications during pregnancy. Older women are more likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, chromosomal issues, miscarriages, etc. which increases the risk of complications. Caesarean delivery is common in older women.
- Multiple-birth Pregnancies: Since more than one baby is developing in the womb, complications occur in multiple-birth pregnancies. These babies are more likely to arrive prematurely due to a lack of space and the additional pressure multiple foetuses pose on a mother.
In multiple pregnancies, several pregnancy complications, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, are more common.
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- Pregnancy History: If you’ve had conditions such as preeclampsia in your previous pregnancies, the chances of getting this diagnosis during your next pregnancy are higher. You’re more likely to have an early delivery in your next pregnancy if you had a premature birth in your previous pregnancy or if you’ve had multiple premature births.
Hence, if you have had any complications such as prior preterm delivery, a prior stillbirth, or prior incidence of genetic or chromosomal problems in your previous pregnancies, there are chances of them occurring in the next pregnancy.
- Lifestyle: Lifestyle choices can affect pregnancy to a great extent. Smoking, drinking alcohol, and using illegal drugs can all threaten a pregnancy. Therefore, expecting mothers should strictly abstain from such activities.
- Weight: Being overweight or underweight during pregnancy may cause complications. In comparison with normal-weight women, obese expecting mothers are at higher risk of complications such as spina bifida, heart problems, hydrocephaly, etc.
Women who weigh less than 45 kilograms are more likely to give birth prematurely or have an underweight baby.
- Medical Conditions: Medical conditions developed during pregnancy such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, placenta previa, polyhydramnios and oligohydramnios can affect the pregnancy.
Problems before pregnancy such as obesity, diabetes, epilepsy, thyroid, asthma, heart or blood disorders may also raise the likelihood of high-risk pregnancy.
- Sexually Transmitted Infections: During your first prenatal appointment, you should be tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as Hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
Women who have STIs are often more likely to pass them on to their baby. Women with STIs also have a higher risk of complications such as low birth weight, conjunctivitis, pneumonia, neonatal sepsis (infection in the baby’s bloodstream), neurologic injury, blindness, deafness, acute hepatitis, meningitis, and chronic liver disease.
How Can You Avoid A High-Risk Pregnancy?
- Make an appointment for a pre-conception consultation: If you’re planning a pregnancy, scheduling a prenatal appointment is recommended. Before you become pregnant, the gynaecologist will advise you to begin taking a regular prenatal vitamin with folic acid and to maintain a healthy weight. If you have a medical condition, the doctor can advise you regarding that matter too. A preconception appointment can help you take all necessary precautions for a healthy pregnancy.
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- Meet your gynaecologist regularly: Regular appointments can help your doctor keep track of your health and that of your infant. A specialist in maternal-foetal medicine, genetics, paediatrics, or other fields might also be referred to you, depending on your case.
- Avoid harmful substances: It is strongly recommended that you quit substances such as tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs if you consume them. These substances can harm your baby and lead to a serious threat to your baby.