Navigating a High-Risk Pregnancy with Your OBGYN
Ideally, every woman would experience a safe and easy pregnancy with few to no surprises and an easy delivery. Of course, things unfortunately don’t work out that way in many instances. Many pregnancies have some issue come up that may require some extra care or observation. For some women, this issue isn’t major and often everything resolves just fine. However, for others, they could be facing multiple issues that require close contact with your doctor in order to maintain their safety and the safety of their child.
You may already know that you’re facing a high-risk pregnancy. Or, perhaps, you discover at a routine check-up that complications have arisen that you weren’t anticipating. These things happen, but they are manageable with the help of a high risk OB. A doctor that specializes in high risk obstetrics can help you safely navigate your challenging pregnancy to help you get to the best possible outcome.
While this can be a very stressful time and one of uncertainty, the right doctor can assure you and provide you with the extra care you need to get through this. Here is what you need to know about high-risk pregnancies and high-risk obstetrics.
Who usually faces a high-risk pregnancy?
Hearing that you may be experiencing a high-risk pregnancy is alarming because it means that you, your baby, or both are in position where you may experience medical problems or complications as a result of the pregnancy. Barring finding out via a test that something isn’t quite right, how can you preemptively know if you’re going to be facing a high-risk pregnancy?
Generally, certain groups of women are considered high-risk or possibly high-risk. While anyone could face complications, here are some of the groups that have a higher probability of doing so. Mothers that are over the age of 35 are generally considered high-risk because of the advanced age relative to prime child bearing years. A multiple pregnancy (twins, for example) is considered high-risk because of the complications involved carrying multiple children. Certain chronic medical conditions can also put you at risk of complications. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, PCOS, autoimmune diseases, kidney disease, thyroid disease, HIV/AIDs and more. Your doctor may also consider you high-risk if you smoke, drink to excess, or are obese.
What kind of testing is required?
They key part of getting through your high-risk pregnancy is being under relatively consistent observation. Part of this observation will of course include testing at different intervals to evaluate the status of the pregnancy and your health. Testing may differ depending on your doctor’s recommendation or what your individual situation is. However, there are some common tests that your doctor will most likely recommend throughout the process. It’s common to undergo multiple ultrasounds to check on the progression of your pregnancy if you’re at high-risk of complications. At around the 15-week mark, an amniocentesis will be performed to allow for genetic testing. Your doctor may also recommend Chorionic villus sampling, Cordocentesis, Biophysical profile, and measurement of the cervical length.
How often should you see your OBGYN?
While your visits won’t be excessive, you’re going to see your OBGYN regularly to do check-ups and mark your progression throughout your pregnancy. Typically, patients come in once a month to meet with their doctor, go through any testing, and discuss how things are going. This is especially important with health conditions like gestational diabetes where you want to ensure you are keeping your blood sugar in check consistently throughout the pregnancy. Once you are in the third trimester, visits will transition into twice per month. After 36 weeks, it’s recommended that visits take place every week as this is the most critical time for both your health and the baby’s as you near delivery. Expect frequency of visits to increase until you deliver as your high-risk pregnancy requires very close monitoring.
Post-birth things should return to normal, though you’ll still want to check in with your OBGYN to make sure that everything is fine. Conditions related to the pregnancy like gestational diabetes should resolve and other conditions should reduce in severity, depending on the condition.
Experiencing a difficult pregnancy can be nerve-wracking, to say the very least. If you already know that you’re in a high-risk group for complications, you need to find an OBGYN as soon as possible during your pregnancy to help you navigate the next nine months and beyond. A high-risk obstetrics doctor can provide you with more peace of mind because you know everything possible is being done to keep you safe. If you know you are facing significant risks or you want to make sure everything is going well, book an appointment online with us today. Dr. La Follette and her team are dedicated to providing you with the expert medical care you need so you can have a safe pregnancy.