Pregnancies are high risk when there is a greater chance of complications for the mother or baby. Women tend to have higher risk pregnancies when they:
- Have chronic health conditions
- Have had problems with previous pregnancies
- Are having multiple births
- Are ages 35 and older
Chronic Health Conditions and Pregnancy
Women who have chronic or pre-existing conditions need special attention during their pregnancies. Some conditions include:
- Severe asthma
- Chronic hypertension
- Eating disorders
- Physical disabilities
- Coronary artery disease or other heart disorders
If you’re pregnant and have a chronic condition, see your doctor regularly. He or she will carefully monitor you and your baby. And, your doctor will let you know what precautions you need to take.
Pregnancy in Later Years
More women are waiting until their 30s and 40s to have children. And, most moms-to-be find this choice to be quite rewarding. But, there are issues these women should be aware of:
- Health considerations—Older women have a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes and hypertension. Both conditions may increase the chance of eclampsia. This disorder that can lead to seizures, stroke or other complications.
- Pregnancy complications—The risk of stillbirth, miscarriage and premature delivery increases with age. Also, more older women tend to need Cesarean sections.
- Genetic abnormalities—The chances of delivering a baby with Down syndrome or other concerns are higher.
No matter what your age, practicing healthy habits before, during and after your pregnancy can benefit you and your baby. Eat a diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Drink plenty of water. And, get enough sleep. Discuss with your doctor what types of exercise can help you stay in shape. Avoid alcohol and don’t smoke. And, ask your doctor before using any type of medication. Also, find out whether you need any immunizations.
Remember to take care of your emotional health, as well. You may find it helpful to talk with women in similar situations. Ask your doctor to recommend a support group.
With myuhc.com®, UnitedHealthcare’s innovative consumer Web site, you can access an array of health information that will help you answer important questions relating to pregnancy and many other health and wellness topics.
Call Care24 for more information on high-risk pregnancy, as well as many other health issues.
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