Bringing a new life into the world is no small undertaking, which is why you want to ensure that your health helps strengthen your unborn child, rather than create risk for both you and your baby.
At Gardena Women’s Center, our goal is to help women in Gardena, California, negotiate their pregnancies with ease by eliminating potential bumps in the road. While being classified as a high-risk pregnancy isn’t necessarily cause for alarm, there are a few ways you can try to prevent the classification altogether.
In the simplest of terms, a high-risk pregnancy is any pregnancy that puts you or your baby under increased risk before, during, and after the pregnancy. More often than not, a high-risk classification simply means that we monitor you more closely, but there are some steps you can take beforehand that will set you up for the best chances of success.
First, let’s do away with the factors that are beyond your control. For example, if you’re over the age of 35, you’re automatically placed into the high-risk group and there’s little we can do about that.
Second, if you’ve had a history of multiple Cesarean sections or abdominal surgery, this places you at higher risk for developing complications. But again, there’s little we can do to erase the past except be vigilant going forward.
This leaves us with factors that are within your control to change, which is where we’ll concentrate our efforts.
When it comes to your lifestyle, there are many behaviors that you can change to avoid a high-risk pregnancy, starting with quitting smoking and avoiding alcohol and drug use. These behaviors are not only detrimental to your own health, they threaten the health of your baby, as well. In fact, smoking is responsible for approximately 20-30% of low-birthweight babies in the United States and about 10% of infant deaths.
Obesity is another risk factor that’s within your control to change. Going into your pregnancy when you’re overweight or obese puts you more at risk of losing the baby, as well as developing very dangerous conditions like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. If you want to avoid a high-risk pregnancy, consider a weight loss program that will help you shed some pounds before you add them back on in baby weight.
You should also endeavor to tackle your nutrition so that your body is as healthy as possible. Cutting out processed foods and eating only nutrient-rich foods go a long way toward ensuring that your body has the tools it needs to develop a new life.
The final key component to avoiding a high-risk pregnancy is to make an appointment with us so we can review your health and figure out whether there are any areas that may need a little extra attention before you get pregnant.
For example, if you have a pre-existing health condition, we can make sure that the issue is stabilized before you get pregnant. This means working with your primary care doctor to see if we need to make any necessary adjustments in your medications or your treatments to accommodate a new life.
During the pre-planning visit, we can also put you on special vitamins, such as folic acid, that help your body get ready for a pregnancy. We can also check to see if you have any other deficiencies and put you on the appropriate supplements to get your levels back up.
By taking some steps to shore up your health before you get pregnant, you can help make your pregnancy a smooth one, without any extra risk.
If you’d like to learn more about avoiding a high-risk pregnancy, please give us a call so we can get started. Or you can use the online scheduling tool found on this website to request an appointment.