Is Your Pregnancy High Risk?
Your Health During Pregnancy continued...
Preterm Labor: About 12% of babies born in the U.S. are born preterm, before the 37th week of pregnancy. This increases the odds that they’ll have health problems or developmental delays throughout life. The earlier a baby is born, the higher the health risks. You’re more likely to go into early labor if you have an infection, a shortened cervix, or have delivered early in the past. Your doctor will try to delay labor with drugs and bed rest.
Twins, Triplets: Less than 2% of pregnant women carry more than one baby, but those who do tend to go into early labor. They’re also more likely to develop gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. The babies have a higher risk for long-term health problems such as delayed development or cerebral palsy.
Have the Healthiest Pregnancy Possible
The term “high-risk pregnancy” is scary, but it’s important to remember that with good care you’ll probably go full-term and deliver a happy, healthy baby. Take these steps to help protect your baby.
- See your doctor regularly and talk through your possible risks.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Maintain your healthiest possible weight.
- Take prenatal vitamins to make sure you get enough folic acid, iron, and other key nutrients.
- Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs.
- Work with your doctor to manage problems like diabetes, depression, or infection.