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High Risk Perinatal Care

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High-Risk Pregnancy Perinatal Care

A high-risk pregnancy is any pregnancy that is affected by any condition that might harm the overall health of the child or the mother during the pregnancy process, during delivery, or after birth at a higher-than-normal risk than the average pregnancy. Typically, if a pregnancy is considered to be of significant enough risk, a perinatologist a doctor who specializes in the care of high-risk births will be recommended to oversee the pregnancy, and be involved in the birthing process.

Contributing Factors

High-risk pregnancies occur for a number of reasons including family history of birth defects, pregnancies involving twins or other multiples, uterine or placental abnormalities, complications due to prior pregnancies, fetal growth issues, diagnosed abnormalities, placental issues, and advanced age in the mother, recurrent miscarriage, and the possibility of preterm delivery. Also, other health issues in the mother such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune disease, or lupus could be a contributing factor towards a high-risk pregnancy.

Perinatal Care Common Treatments And Recommendations

A number of steps can be taken to limit or prevent the impact that a high-risk pregnancy can have on the mother and the child. If you are at risk and are attempting to get pregnant, you should consider scheduling a preconception appointment wherein a doctor can make specific recommendations and precautions that can be administered prior to pregnancy. These recommendations could potentially include the consumption of prenatal vitamins, reaching a recommended and healthy weight level, or other forms of treatment that can assist the mother in preventing any specific medical condition from affecting the health of any future children.

Otherwise, a doctor may be able to refer a mother to specialists in maternal medicine, pediatrics, or genetics or other experts that can assist the mother towards as healthy a pregnancy as possible. Furthermore, it is recommended that any mother likely to be at risk during pregnancy should visit a prenatal care center several times before delivery.

Common Sense

Other recommendations that can be made towards a high-risk mother are, for the most part, commonsensical ones. For instance, during any pregnancy not just high-risk ones it is essential that the mother eats a healthy diet. She will need to consume the proper proportions of calcium, folic acid, iron, and other essential nutrients and vitamins. It will be especially important for a mother diagnosed with diabetes to maintain a healthy eating plan. This is true for everybody diagnosed with diabetes, but it is especially important during pregnancy, as high blood glucose levels can harm an unborn child.

In addition, a mother will want to ensure that she is gaining the proper amount of weight during pregnancy, which will protect and support a child's health before delivery. A doctor will typically give recommendations in this regard. Lastly, avoid any risky substance consumption including cigarettes, alcohols, and any illegal drugs. In addition, some over the counter drugs may also harm a child in the womb and a discussion with your doctor about this will be essential during and before pregnancy.

High-Risk Perinatal Center

High-Risk Perinatal Centers provide 24-hour care for pregnant women who need constant attention, care, and monitoring in order to ensure the healthy birth of the child and protect the overall health of an at-risk mother. There are differing ranking levels of these sorts of hospitals. For instance, the Holy Cross Hospital High-Risk Perinatal Center in Silver Spring, Maryland is a Level IIIB Perinatal Referral Center meaning that is has been recognized for an advanced level of specialty in the care of high-risk pregnancies.

Generally, during a stay at a High-Risk Perinatal Center, patients can expect to be monitored by the most advanced technology in the field and a team of high-risk birth experts. A team of high-risk perinatal caregivers will typically include perinatologists, registered nurses, obstetricians, gynecologists, and other board and hospital certified members. Ordinarily, the registered nurses on staff will have advanced training in fetal and birth monitoring. Also, if it is required, a High-Risk Perinatal Center will be able to provide medical attention and other specialized services to a newborn after the child is delivered.

Questions To Ask A Doctor

If a doctor has deemed a pregnancy potentially hazardous; a mother will want to consider a few items when consulting any medical professionals. A mother will want to pursue an in-depth understanding of exactly why her pregnancy has been placed in the "high-risk" category, as not all high-risk pregnancies are the same. In other words, many high-risk pregnancies are deemed such merely for precautionary purposes and are, in actuality, unlikely to occur (but would be terrible if they did, and steps taken prior to that time will assist a doctor in keeping the child and the mother safe before and during delivery). In other cases, it might be that an illness or any other contributing factor will make the delivery of an entirely healthy baby unlikely. Every case is unique and a mother will want to learn as much as possible about her own particular pregnancy and situation.

The more knowledgeable that a mother is about her condition, the better that she will be able to obtain medical and professional assistance that she needs during pregnancy. For instance, a mother diagnosed with diabetes might benefit from an ob-gyn who is an expert in endocrinology. Alternatively, if a mother has a heart condition, a cardiologist might be required for assistance during pregnancy. The doctor will also highly benefit from garnering as much information from the mother as possible. In other words, communication is an essential part of any pregnancy but is especially important in treating in high-risk cases.