As you approach your pregnancy, it is essential to remember that high-risk pregnancies need special care. Those who have experienced personal or family complications from hypertension during pregnancy, diabetes, premature birth, or maternal infection may be considered high risk. Do not hesitate to seek the help of a maternal-fetal medicine specialist if you fall into this category because they can offer crucial insights and treatments tailored to your needs!
If you have a high-risk pregnancy, it’s important to have care from a maternal-fetal medicine specialist. These specialists are trained to care for pregnant women with medical conditions that could put them or their babies at risk. Some situations requiring high-risk pregnancy care include diabetes, hypertension, preeclampsia, heart disease, and HIV.
If any of these ailments should be disclosed, you might be referred to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist by your regular OB-GYN. You may also be referred to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist if you’re pregnant with more than one baby, if you’ve had a previous miscarriage or stillbirth, or if you’re carrying a baby with a congenital disability. If you’re considered high-risk, your doctor will likely want to do more frequent prenatal visits and tests.
You may also need extra ultrasounds and other imaging tests to monitor your baby’s growth and development. High-risk pregnancy care aims to prevent complications by closely monitoring both mother and baby. With early detection and treatment of problems, most women who experience high-risk pregnancies deliver healthy children.
What is a High-Risk Pregnancy?
A high-risk pregnancy is one in which some factors could potentially lead to complications for the mother or baby. These factors can be present before, during, or even after delivery. Some common examples of high-risk pregnancies include those where the mother is over 35, has a history of medical conditions such as diabetes or hypertension or is pregnant with multiple babies.
While most high-risk pregnancies will not result in complications, it is essential to be aware of the potential risks and work with a maternal-fetal medicine specialist to help ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
Why You Need Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialists?
Maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialists are obstetricians who have completed advanced training in the care of pregnant women who have high-risk pregnancies. These specialists are experts in managing complicated pregnancies and delivering healthy babies.
Several factors, including maternal age, medical conditions, multiple births, and previous pregnancy complications, can cause high-risk pregnancies. MFM specialists are trained to identify and manage these risk factors to help ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
If you are pregnant and have any concerns about your health or the health of your unborn child, you should consult with an MFM specialist. These specialists can provide you with the expert care and guidance you need to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
Symptoms of High-Risk Pregnancies
Several symptoms can indicate a high-risk pregnancy. If you experience any of the following, it severals essential to speak with your doctor or a maternal-fetal medicine specialist right away:
- Heavy bleeding during pregnancy
- Severe nausea and vomiting
- Persistent headaches or dizziness
- Signs of preeclampsia (high blood pressure, protein in the urine)
- Premature labor
- A baby that is smaller or larger than expected
- Twins or multiples
If your pregnancy is causing you any worry, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare team. They can help determine if you are at high risk and need additional monitoring or care.
Treatment For High-Risk Pregnancies
It is essential to seek treatment from a maternal-fetal medicine specialist if you are pregnant and considered high-risk. A specialist in maternal-fetal medicine is an obstetrician who has completed additional training in treating pregnant patients with medical conditions or complications.
Conditions that may put a pregnancy at high risk include, but are not limited to:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Cardiac conditions
- Kidney disease
- Infectious diseases
- Substance abuse
previous history of preterm labor or birth or other pregnancy complications.
A maternal-fetal medicine specialist will work with you and your obstetrician to create a personalized care plan for your high-risk pregnancy. This care plan may include closely monitoring your and the baby’s health and special tests and treatments.
Close monitoring refers to more frequent visits with your healthcare team, additional ultrasounds, and more frequent fetal heart rate monitoring. Special tests may be ordered to check for problems such as anemia, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, or infection. These tests may be done more often or at different times than for low-risk pregnancies. Treatments for high-risk pregnancies may include medication, bed rest, or surgery.
Medications can be given to treat conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and infections. Bed rest is often recommended for women at risk for preterm labor or placental abruption.
The goal of treatment for a high-risk pregnancy is to prevent complications and ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby. With early detection and treatment, many high-risk pregnancies can be successfully managed.
How Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialists Can Help You
If your pregnancy is high-risk, you might be recommended to a maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialist. These doctors are obstetricians who have completed additional training in caring for pregnant women with complex medical conditions or pregnancies at risk for complications.
MFMs offer comprehensive care for high-risk pregnancies and can provide expertise in managing diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, preeclampsia, multiple gestations, and fetal anomalies. They also offer guidance and support to families expecting a baby with a congenital disability or genetic condition.
In addition to providing comprehensive care for high-risk pregnancies, MFMs can help you plan for delivery and manage any complications that may arise during labor and delivery. They can also offer guidance and support if you deliver your baby via Cesarean section or assisted delivery.